Small scale manufacturers have appealed to the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) to reduce the amount they charge for certifying products to enable SMEs use some of the saved money to improve the quality of their products as required.
Maria Odido, Director Bee Natural, a small scale industry also urged the UNBS to give incentives to the small scale industries for achieving the standard mark commonly known as S-Mark.
“UNBS should also work together with the Uganda Revenue Authority to provide tax incentives to the manufactures” he said.
Odido said in order for the local products to achieve competitiveness in the regional market they must follow the simple things like being organized, hygienic as well as making sure the environment where products are packaged is clean saying this is what standardization means.
“A lot of us get very concerned when we hear we have to meet UNBS standards we start thinking of European standards which is not the case,” Odido explained.
Speaking during the Standards Business Seminar Odido asked the bureau to put more of their staffs in the field to get products that are substandard off the markets. She also asked small scale manufactures to embrace standardization of their products.
The one day seminar held at Uganda Industrial Research Institute at Nakawa was intended to sensitize the business community including manufacturers at large and small scale on the benefits and necessity of adhering to the required quality and standards.
Engineer Samuel Semukungu, an official from ministry of trade noted that standards make a major contribution to productivity and competitiveness.
He said Uganda’s products are poorly packaged and that has made them less attractive and cannot compete fairly on the regional market.
Semukungu further said government should increase export penetration in the other countries if our products comply with standards.