The Uganda Revenue Authority has called for mass sensitization of farmers and dealers in Agricultural produce to mitigate the crisis of mycotoxins which has reduced demand for Uganda’s grain exports on the foreign market. URA’s concerns were put to the Parliamentary Committee of Agriculture which is investigating cases of mycotoxins contamination in grain exports.
Appearing before the House Committee of Agriculture which is considering a petition on mycotoxins contained in grains in Uganda, officials of the Uganda Revenue Authority warned that if mycotoxins in grains are not managed, the country will face loss of huge volumes of trade as export opportunities for Maize, Maize Flour, Maize grain and beans continue to dwindle.
In June this year, South Sudan which is Uganda’s leading export market for food, impounded 90 trucks containing maize grains, beans, maize flour, and wheat at Elegu- Nimule border after they were deemed unsustainable for human consumption on allegations that they were contaminated by aflatoxins. So URA is concerned that the country is at a loss of revenue which is collected from foreign trucks as road user levy.
According to URA figures, during the financial year 2022/2023, Uganda exported 349 metric tonnes of maize at a customs value of Shs137.9bn, 19.8 metric tonnes of maize flour at a customs value of 12.9bn, and 99.7 metric tonnes of beans with a customs value of 73.7bn. But now the tax collectors call for interventions like research and mass sensitization of farmers on post-harvest handling.
A mycotoxin is a toxic secondary compound produced by fungi and is capable of causing disease and death in both humans and other animals. Legislators on the Committee of Agriculture are concerned that the government is sitting on critical information on the dangers of aflatoxins which has escalated the problem.
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