The Department is in charge of all matters related to plant health, including issuance of import and export phytosanitary certificates for live plant material and horticultural crops, as well as for plant pest prevention or eradication programmes. The department is also responsible for enforcing regulations on registration and the use of pesticides and other agrochemicals.
- The control of weeds, crop pests and diseases to below threshold levels
- Assess the compliance of agricultural exports and imports to the set national, regional and international standards.
- Assess the quality of agricultural inputs to ensure that they are of high quality to enable increased productivity.
- The Department of Crop Protection is the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) that implements the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) recommendations and obligations in Uganda.
- To deploy staff at all border posts of Uganda, for agricultural import and export regulation and certification against crop pests and diseases.
- To compile the country’s pest list and conduct pest risk analysis (PRA) to base all decisions made in the execution of regulatory procedures on scientific facts
- To regulate agricultural inputs (e.g. Seed, fertilizer, agrochemicals, planting materials etc) to ensure the Ugandan farmer pays value for money
- To conduct weed, pest and disease surveillance and to manage them to below threshold levels
The department has two divisions and each is headed by an Assistant Commissioner.
1. This is a Division of Regulation and Certification (R&D)
- Initiation of formulation and review of the policies, legislations, standards, strategies and plans for the regulatory and certification division
- Domesticate the international standards for seed, plants or plant products and agrochemicals to suit the Uganda situation.
- Enforce the National. Regional and international standards for product access to markets
- Regulation for all agricultural imports and exports and the inputs used in the production process to ensure that farmers pay for value on their money
- Equipping the three regulatory laboratories and running them to carry out pest surveillance, seed analysis and pesticide residue monitoring to accreditation level
- Liaising with National, Regional and International Regulatory Bodies for harmonization, review and implementation of regulatory standards that may be of regional concern.
- Supervising the regulatory and certification Division staff to ensure that activities run according to plan and accountabilities timely made.
2. Diagnostics and Epidemiology (D&E)
- Initiate formulation and review of policies, laws, regulations, strategies, plans, protocols and standard operating procedures for weed, pest and disease diagnostics and control of epidemics
- Conduct weed, pest and disease surveillance, surveys, monitoring and mapping
- Equip and run the Post Entry and Quarantine Laboratory and build its capacity to diagnose the weed, pest and disease problems and come up with applicable solutions for Ugandan farmers
- Managing and expanding of the diagnostic tools (the National Insect Museum and Herbarium, ELISA reagents etc) to preserve them for current and future use
- Collaborating with Research, Local Governments to control pests and diseases at the grass root levels (Farmer’s fields
- Receive all plant intercepts from border posts for analysis for pests and diseases, those that are infected or infested are safely disposed off and those that are safe, are released to their owners
- Liaise with Local Governments to conduct and run plant clinics for farmers in the different districts of Uganda while providing feedback to the farmers who originate the pest problems
- Building capacity for plant protection officers in Local Governments as well as building capacity for the department in pest and disease control
- Collaborate with Research and other organizations involved in the pest and disease control to update, review and scrutinize the presence of weeds, pests and diseases.
- Work with local governments and other grass root organizations to control epidemic pests and diseases in farmer’s fields
There are five sections in the Department, three in Regulation and certification and two in Diagnostics and Epidemiology. Each section is headed by a Principal Agricultural Inspector (PAI).
1. Phytosanitary Inspection and Quarantine Services (PIQS)
- Initiate formulation and review of laws, regulations standards, strategies and plans related to implementation of Phytosanitary measures in Uganda.
- Align International and Regional standards from International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) to suit the Ugandan situation for implementation
- Enforce the Phytosanitary measures standards and other IPPC obligations through certification for agricultural exports and authorize importation for plants, plant products and other regulated articles
- Conduct pest risk analysis for agricultural commodities to establish the level of risk and the applicable Phytosanitary measures to mitigate the risk, for Uganda’s agricultural import commodities
- Notification of all changes in the Phytosanitary system in the country for compliance of all the trading partners
- Set up and manage the post entry quarantine structures including laboratories for easy science based decision making
- Building capacity for implementing Phytosanitary measures and gazette all the inspectors involved in the import and export regulation
- Keep an updated database for all the PRAs, pest lists, and any other Phytosanitary information
- Collaborate with research, regional plant protection organizations (RPPOs), IPPC, CBD and other relevant organizations.
- Create awareness on Phytosanitary measures and quarantine services activities.
2. National Seed Certification Services (NSCS)
- Initiate formulation of policies, laws, regulations, strategies, standards and plans related to seed and planting material regulation in the country
- Conduct inspection and certification of seed and other planting materials (including vegetative propagated) to ensure compliance to the set national, regional and international standards
- Carry out DUS, and NPTs to certify that the seed and planting materials conform to the breeders specification and description of the varieties for release and commercialization
- Carry out field inspections for seed fields, factory inspections, mother gardens and nurseries according to set procedures for seed production including OECD seed schemes
- Build capacity for the National Seed Laboratory and acquire accreditation from International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) for issuance of orange certificate for international seed trade
- Create awareness among seed crops, dealers and retailers about the seed quality, its handling, storage and all care for seed and planting materials
- Establish and maintain a database for seed and planting material related issues and information including standards for seed
- Attend, participate and also host National Seed Board and Variety Release Meetings
- Attend and participate in regional and International meetings and conferences on ISTA, OECD, UPOV to facilitate regional seed trade
- Set criteria for certification of vegetative propagated planting materials and instilling traceability among the nurseries that produce them
- Guide production of quality declared seed, its certification, and operate the implementation of the Plant Variety Protection office
3. Pesticide and Fertilizer Control Unit (PFCU)
- Initiate formulation and review of policies, laws, regulations strategies and plans related to agro-chemicals and their use in Uganda
- Inspection, monitoring and enforcement of regulations and standards for compliance and to take the necessary action in cases of non compliance
- Equip, operate and build capacity to operate the Pesticide Analytical laboratory to establish accurate pesticide residues in plants used for food and other food and feed items
- Develop and participate in pesticide residue monitoring plan to ensure adherence to the official Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs)
- Conduct tests and efficacy field trials on agricultural chemical formulations to compliance to approved specifications and quality the registration process
- Participate in National, regional and international fora to promote sound management of agricultural chemicals
- Secretary to the National Agricultural Chemicals Board and its subsidiary body, the Agricultural Chemicals Control Technical Committee Build capacity for inspection and certification of agro-chemical trade in Uganda and assessing and seeking solutions to the trade constraints and use of the agro-chemicals
- Establishing a database of registered and approved products, dealers, and premises
- Ensure that the public and the farming communities and dealership communities have access to information on safe and responsible use of agricultural chemicals and that the necessary training programs are in place
4. Plant Diagnostics Services Section and (PDSS)
- Conduct weed, pest and disease surveillance in all parts of Uganda for the purpose of detecting the outbreaks early for easy management and control
- Collect weed, pest and disease samples for collect diagnosis in the diagnostics laboratory
- After diagnosis, a written feedback is forwarded to the farmer where the sample was collected for the farmer to take remedial action
- All interceptions from Inspectors at the border posts shall be handled separately from those collected within Uganda and interceptions shall be screened for pests and diseases that may not be in the country
- Developing protocols and datasheets for use in plant clinics and by Local Government Extension Staff for field pest and disease diagnosis and advice on management
- Training Local Government staff in weed, pest and disease surveillance and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for common crop pests and diseases
- Updating the National Crop Pest List and Crop Pest Handbook for use in Plant Clinics and in extension work
- Running and curing more specimens for the Insect Museum and Herbarium as diagnostic tools
- Liaising with Research and other organizations involved in the control of pests and diseases or advising farmers in pest and disease control in monitoring of pests and diseases
- Establishing a database for weeds, pests and diseases that is constantly updated and establishing a quick reporting mechanism for pest outbreaks
5. Control of Crop Epidemics Section (CCES)
- Surveillance for weeds, pests and diseases that are of epidemic proportions
- Mobilizing and organizing researchers, Local Government Staff, Local NGOs, and farmers to control weeds, epidemic pests (including migratory pests) and diseases
- Purchasing Equipment, agro-chemicals and mobilizing stand-by funding to intervene in case of outbreaks of a weeds, pests or diseases
- Forecasting, and providing an early warning on epidemic pests and diseases and sending alert messages to the stakeholders to be ready for outbreaks
- Liaising with regional and international organizations in weed, pest and disease forecasting, monitoring and management. The International Organizations include, DLCO-EA, FAO, EAC and others
- Training and building capacity for the Department, Local Governments and farming communities in pest and disease epidemic control
- Creating awareness for weeds, crop pests and diseases, their management and follow up
- Keeping and updating a database of information on epidemic pests and diseases and their control
- Formulating guidelines based on the Crop Protection act 1962, to guide lower administrative units to make by-laws to improve pest and disease control strategies in the affected districts.