All Ugandan cows are to receive birth certificates to allow them to be more easily traced in order to comply with European Union (EU) regulations.

Countries producing food for the European market must provide proof of its traceability, said Mr Vincent Ssempijja, the minister for agriculture, animal industry and fisheries, on Tuesday.

He said products from Uganda were being impounded and banned from the EU.

“Farmers will be registered and their products given barcodes so that if they find a problem with one box, they look for the source and sort out the problem. We cannot enter lucrative market unless farmers register,” he said.

Mr Ssempijja added that all the cows must be registered and given birth certificates.

“For cattle farmers, it is going to be worse. You will be registered as a farmer, the cow will be registered, numbered and will have a birth certificate because the importers of our products demand meat for cows aged between 15 to 24 months. So we are going to sell depending on their age,” he added.

According to Mr Ssempijja, an audit team from the European Union is expected in Uganda in September this year to ensure that all farmers producing commodities destined for Europe are registered.

“Apart from traceability of the products, the team also wants to ensure that farmers benefit directly because many of them are cheated by middlemen. Government will not cater for those who defy the order when it comes to markets,” Mr Ssempijja said, refuting allegations that the registration exercise is aimed at cheating farmers through imposing a tax on them which was scrapped on July 1.

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