Uganda is a land-locked country. Yet 60 percent of the population's daily protein requirements come from fish.
As the second largest source of foreign revenue, the fisheries sector makes a vital contribution to the economy. And it's the implementation of national standards, based on Codex Alimentarius Commission standards, which ensure safe fish for locals and successful export of Ugandan fish all over the world.
"The standards are enforced right from the capture of fish, make sure the boats are clean, the fish is handled properly. At landing sites, we have improved structures where fish is landed. We have potable water – see that it's used for cleaning the places where fish is handled. The transport boats, every time they are transporting the fish, we make sure they have ice. The trucks which collect fish from landing sites to processing plants, they also use ice. And at factory level, we make sure they comply to the standards required: the temperatures, the handling places – all we make sure they comply to the standards. And also the labelling to make sure it can be traced back to where it originated from." Dr. Rhoda Tumbewaze, Assistant Commissioner, Ministry of Fisheries said.
The Codex Alimentarius Commission was founded 50 years ago by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Its objective is to develop harmonized international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice to protect the health of the consumers and ensure fair practices in the food trade.
Gertrude Nabukera runs a landing site on Lake Victoria and understands better than most the importance of Codex standards. She started with one paddle boat, and struggled to keep going during an export ban in the 1990s.
But the implementation of national standards revived the sector and now business is booming.
Gertrude has 300 fully equipped vessels and provides employment for hundreds of people.
It is boosting the economy and the population's nutritional status - and Uganda's thriving fisheries sector is paving the way for growth in other agricultural sectors too.
CihanGüncelleme Tarihi: 07 Temmuz 2013, 14:43