Main Article Content
The urban and peri-urban population provide niche markets for rice in Uganda. The local rice industry, dominated by smallholder farmers and cottage mills has failed to meet quality requirements of quality-sensitive consumers. Due to lack of information on physical quality and safety of the locally grown and processed rice, informed decision making on investments in the sector has been compromised. Using standard analytical and physical methods, local paddy and milled rice main varieties (NERICA 4, Kaiso and Supa) sampled from all major rice growing districts of Uganda were assessed for quality and safety. The results showed that paddy supplied to rice millers exhibited low quality characteristics exemplified by fissure levels of 60%, foreign matter of 6.1%, moisture content of 10.6% and aflatoxin contamination of 18 pbb. Similarly, milled rice obtained from different parts of the country and processed by cottage mills exhibited low market value namely; aflatoxin up to 19.5 ppb, 64.3% broken grain, 0.8% foreign matter and 0.06% rancidity. Although rice available on the market was fairly safe for consumption, the physical quality which determines the price tag required urgent improvement. Hence the need for measures to improve post-harvest handling and processing technologies for smallholder farmers and cottage mills.