KAMPALA, UGANDA — The Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) has unveiled nine product standards for staple foods in Uganda, an initiative that is expected to lead to better grain marketing decision making by farmers in the country, according to an article in theEast African Business Week.

The nine products are maize, wheat, milled rice, dry beans, dry soybeans, maize flour, wheat flour, sorghum flour and millet flour.

According to the article, the grain standards are expected to boost and increase grain trade between Uganda and other countries in the East Africa region. The standards will reduce technical barriers related to standards that previously had slowed trade, the newspaper noted.

“The EAC has been implementing the EAC Customs Union since (July 1, 2005),” Annet Namara, assistant commissioner in charge of EAC integration in the Ministry of East African Affairs, told East African Business Week. “This was an effort to eliminate internal tariffs on goods produced within our territories in order to promote intra EAC trade, adopt a common tax policy on third party goods and eliminate all non-tariff barriers to trade and now with the coming of the grain standards, we shall see great progress in trade among EAC member  states.”

Gerald Masila, executive director of the EAGC, told the newspaper that the standards will support farmers to make better decisions in marketing grains.

“Smooth adoption and application of the gazzeted standards enable farmers to access better and greater markets within the region, which has an estimated population of 186,998,614 people and at the same time, consumers will be provided with safe and high-quality food grain products,” Masila said.

Uganda becomes the second country in the EAC where harmonized standards for grains have been implemented, joining Kenya.