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October 19, 2008

Uganda to export rice seed

Uganda is to export upland rice seeds to three African countries beginning in January next year, an agriculture ministry official has revealed.

The commissioner for crop production and marketing,Okassai Opolot, said that Ethiopia had ordered 506 metric tonnes; Mali, 3000 metric tonnes and Benin, 100 metric tonnes of upland rice seeds.

At the quoted price of sh 3000 per kilogramme, the country is set to earn close to sh11b from the placed orders. The sh3000 quoted compares to the sh2000 the seeds are sold on the local market, Opolot said.

“We contacted the seed companies about the opportunity and I am hopeful they are working hard towards achieving that,” Opolot said.

Opolot, however, said the country was not yet certified by the International seed testing Association. “It is a challenge but seed companies should not worry. Hopefully, we shall get the certificate before the end of the year,” he said.

The association controls and inspects seeds to provide a guarantee to the purchasers. They also make sure a sack, bag or box of seeds contain what is indicated on the label and whether the seeds meet all the quality criteria.

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