The East African Grain Council (EAGC), in conjunction with Makerere University and the Uganda National Bureau of Statistics (UNBS), have commenced training of warehouse operators dealing in handling and management of grains.
Speaking at the training, Paul Ochuna the EAGC country programmes manager noted that the training seeks to address the issue of grain quality and aflatoxins through imparting skills and knowledge to participants in the different levels of grain handling, saying “this will see an improve in grain handling at all levels.”
Ochuna noted that participants representing over 1000 small scale farmers, are being equipped with inventory management, recording and managing information at the grain hubs, raising awareness regarding the East African Recommended grain Standards.
He revealed that over 70% of grain that is provided by small holder farmers is rejected because of high levels of Aflatoxins, “however I believe this training will help address this challenge.”
In his remarks, Hakim Mufumbiro, a Statistics Developer at UNBS said the training is timely given the recent challenges Ugandan grain particularly Maize has been facing in the region.
“Many warehouses have been rejecting maize due to some few correctional errors like moisture content above 17%, slightly higher than the recommended 13.5%, most of the warehouses, have used this as a basis for rejection, but I believe with the knowledge from the training, most of these will change,” Mufumbiro noted.
Professor Achileo Kaaya from Makerere University School of Technology and Nutrition said that most grains are being rejected due to some quality factors that stem from the farms up to the warehouse chain.
He advised them to practice the right agricultural practices right from the farms to the Warehouses.