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Merger Of Govt Agencies: Parliament Disbands Chemicals Control Board

Parliament has disbanded the Agricultural Chemicals Control Board and recommended for the transfer of its functions to the Ministry of Agriculture, with MPs accusing the Board of looking on as counterfeit agriculture chemicals flooded Uganda’s market.

David Bahati, Minister of State for Industries defended the proposal to disband the Board arguing, “To enable the mainstreaming and rationalization and functions of the Agricultural Chemical Board into the Ministry of Agriculture to do facilitate and effectively deliver services by mainstreaming the mandate of the Board that we think is a bit redundant. We therefore ask Parliament to do this amendment to enable Government to function effectively.”

Janet Okori-Moe, Chairperson Agriculture Committee, said that although the Board declined the Committee’s invited to make a case for their institution, adding that the Board was established in 2007 to control and regulate, the manufacture, storage, distribution and trade in use, importations and exportation of agricultural chemicals, but these duties aren’t so unique, not to be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, thus the need to have the Board mainstreamed to the Ministry of Agriculture.

“The Agricultural Chemicals Board has been responsible for providing the policy framework for control and regulation, including registration of agriculture chemicals such as pesticides, fertilizers, growth regulators, wood preservatives, bio pesticides, bio fertilizers used in promoting and protecting the health of plants. The market is flooded with counterfeit agro-chemicals which the entity failed to reduce and or eliminate. The Board’s presence in the field to inspect and deal with the unauthorized dealers in agro-inputs could not be established by the Committee,” said Okori-Moe.

However the Committee also called on Government to allow time for winding up operations of the Board in order to create room for smooth transition noting, “Some of the properties of the entity have not been accounted for. There is need for transition period after assent to provide for winding up processes. The Committee therefore recommends that the commencement date be provided for in the Bill and it should not exceed three months.”

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