Cows gather in line on a plot of deforested Amazon rainforest near the city of Uruara. The Ugandan government has announced plans to register all farmers and their cattle, including issuing "birth certificates" for the animals.

JOHANNESBURG  - The Ugandan government has announced plans to register all farmers and their cattle, including issuing "birth certificates" for the animals, so it can trace their products.

The East African reported that Vincent Ssempijja, the minister for agriculture, animal industry and fisheries said the procedure was necessary as the international market demanded that all countries producing food for the European market needed to provide proof so that the food could be traced, the East African reported.

"They want to know where the meat and crop products are coming from. They have been impounding and banning all consignments from Uganda if they find one box with issues,” he said at the official opening of the National Agricultural Show in Jinja, southern Uganda.

“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 markets unless farmers register."

Ssempijja added that all the cattle 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 the meat depending on their age," he added.

An audit team from the European Union will arrive in Uganda in September to that all farmers producing commodities destined for Europe are registered.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation representative in Uganda, Antonio Querido, said Uganda needs livestock traceability for better product transaction in the international market.

-  African News Agency (ANA)