UGANDA – Uganda is poised to hold the 10th edition of the high-level, multi-stakeholder African Grain Trade Summit organized by the Eastern Africa Grain Council in partnership with the Government of Uganda and grain value chain stakeholders.
According to New Vision, the summit will take place from the 5th to the 7th of October at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala under the theme ‘Defining Africa’s Place in Global Grain Trade for Sustainable Food Systems.
The summit is a high-level, international grain industry conference that convenes business leaders, policymakers, and other critical stakeholders from across Africa and beyond for discussions about key issues and emerging trends pertinent to the grain sector.
The interface will take place in a special matchmaking session between grain farmers, traders, and producers to interface with large-scale processors, buyers, and exporters of grains from the continent.
In this session, buyers will explain to producers, the quality and amounts of grains needed but also how these can be handled to meet the required standards.
Other issues to be discussed at the summit include technological advancements in the grain sector, in areas of soil health, and solutions for quality grains among others.
Whereas Uganda is known for high agricultural yields, most of the food is left to waste through poor handling.
According to the Economic Policy Research Centre (Uganda), food losses and wastages arise mainly due to poor post-harvest handling practices and through the absence of adequate and appropriate food infrastructure in harvest and post-harvest systems.
The center also recorded that the majority of the farmers still use rudimentary methods like drying on uncovered ground, storage in sacks or pouring on the ground, hand shelling, or beating.
Drying and storing on the ground makes agricultural produce susceptible to discoloration, and contamination with foreign matter, termite damage, mold, and debris.
The high-level summit comes at a time when Uganda has been grappling with a high-stakes showdown with the Republic of South Sudan that stalled the importation of cereals over safety claims.
However, later, the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) announced that the majority of tracks carrying grain had passed aflatoxin tests.
According to UNBS, out of the 23 tracks and 27 contested consignments tested, 18 tracks and 22 consignments successfully passed the tests.
These tracks were part of the 90 vehicles held in South Sudan for over a month on allegations of transporting foods contaminated with Aflatoxin B1. The commodities included maize grain, maize corn, dry beans, sorghum grains, cassava flour, and finger millet.