The Government is to brand all agriculture product. The move by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau seeks to operationalise the Geographical Indications Act.
By Gloria Nakajubi
The Government is to brand all agriculture product. The move by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) seeks to operationalise the Geographical Indications Act (2013) that was recently passed by Parliament to enhance marketability of agricultural products.
Geographical indication is where products are given specific names due to their characteristics or reputation as per its origin.
Bemanya Twebaza, Registrar General, explained that many countries are taking advantage of the fact that there is no legal framework in the country concerning geographical indications and have taken on our products as their own.
“We have very high quality cotton for example but because it lacks recognition, it’s being used to enhance cotton from other countries who eventually call it theirs,” said Bemanya.
He explained that Uganda is endowed with a variety of unique agricultural products but because of the lack of an enabling law, the country has not been able to benefit from its uniqueness.
Bemanya noted that after coming up with a policy framework on the implementation, they will embark on a rigorous sensitization programme for all stakeholders who include farmers, traders and exporters.
Among the agricultural goods identified to having special qualities in Uganda include vanilla, coffee, sesame, sheer butter, cotton among others.
“Geographical branding of agricultural products is intended to enable small –scale farmers and producers to leverage the commercial value of their products and also enhance rural livelihoods,” said Bemanya.
He added that this is one way towards achieving the national development plan and vision 2040 which calls for sectoral participation and agriculture being one of the key drivers.
This was revealed during the on-going brainstorming workshop for the different stakeholders intended to develop guidelines and systems on the implementation of the geographical indicators.
Agriculture products for branding