Uganda, UAE sign memorandum on food exports

Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will enable farmers export more agricultural products to the United Arab Emirates.

The Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, who signed the MoU on behalf of Uganda, said that government will support small scale farmers across the country to improve the quality and quantity of their produce to enable them supply the highly sought after and competitive Dubai and UAE market.

Minister Ssempijja signed the MOU with H.E Said Mohammed Al Hajairi, who signed on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Development, UAE, and Mohammed Ahmed Al Bawardi for the Abu Dhabi Food Security Center, UAE. The Memorandum was one of the activities at the ongoing Uganda – UAE Business Forum in Dubai, UAE.

The Forum, which is organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry has attracted private investors in agriculture, tourism, real estate, construction and other fields. It is being held at different venues in Dubai and Abu Dhabi from 29th October to 2nd November 2018.

Selected MPs on the Parliament Committees on Agriculture; Foreign Affairs; Trade and Presidential Affairs are attending the Business Forum.

The Minister said that the signed Memorandum is a follow up to a meeting and resolutions agreed between the Presidents of Uganda and of the UAE to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

“The Ministry of Agriculture is working at implementing the bilateral understanding between the two presidents,” said Ssempijja, adding that, “The Memorandum is intended to actualise the ideas of our political leaders. It is meant to ensure that Ugandans can export more agricultural products to the UAE.”

He said that the UAE market needs Ugandan foodstuffs and fruits including mangoes, avocados, passion fruits and pineapples. He added that there was need to help farmers improve and have the right quality and quantity available on a timely basis.

The Minister said that government needed to help the farmers to be able to get into the UAE market and strengthen their positions in the market.

In the Memorandum the two countries agreed to strengthen and advance cooperation in the field of food security and advancing agriculture, and to cooperate in the exchange of information on agricultural and rural development policies; and to start a dialogue on creating food security and agricultural economic zones for UAE companies to invest and carry out large scale farming. The food security agriculture economic zone forms a minimum of 2500 hectares for UAE exclusive zone, the Memorandum said.

Uganda and UAE will establish the UAE-Uganda Joint Committee on Agriculture, which will develop detailed cooperation programs and monitor the implementation of the Memorandum.

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