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Fish Export Boost if EU Trade Restriction Lifted

Lucy Towers
21 December 2016, at 12:00am

UGANDA - Exports in the fishing export sector are set to get a boost if the country is allowed to trade it's aquaculture products on the European market.

"Currently in terms of aquaculture products, we get 100,000 metric tonnes but we are aiming at 300,000 metric tonnes. If we get the EU trade restriction lifted we will be able to earn more than Shs5b," Mr Edward Rukuunya, the director fisheries resources, said.

Mr Rukuunya made the remarks during the opening of the 3-day United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in Entebbe, reports TheDailyMonitor.

He further stated that the fisheries sector has had stagnating fish exports for the last five years with the current annual exports standing at 17,000 metric tonnes in fish. This, he said, brings in $134m (Shs481.9 billion)with a hope of earning Shs1.8 trillion in the next 5 years.

Uganda whose current fish world market supply stands at 20 per cent is among the 16 countries out of the 48 categorised by the UN as low developed countries with a great potential to use the fishing sector to liberate their trade and development objectives.

Speaking to Daily Monitor at the sidelines of the conference, Mr Mussie Delelegn, the chief of the landlocked developing countries section, Division for Africa at the UN, said that even though Uganda has been able to penetrate the European market with capture fish (Nile Perch), it still has to meet the required international standards to be allowed to trade aquaculture products in the European Union.

"The fisheries sector is the second largest export hard currency earner for Uganda with close to $126m (Shs453.1 billion) average annual export revenue being received from capture fish with up to 90 per cent of Ugandan Nile Perch destined for the European market," he said.

Mr Delelegn further said Uganda is currently unable to export aquaculture products to Europe due to failing to meet the required international standards that include the right feed selection, management and quality of feeds in the production process.