Kampala/Nairobi | RedPepper Digital – The government of Uganda through the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Co-operatives has refuted earlier media reports that Kenya had cut Uganda’s sugar export by 79%. From 90,000 metric tonnes annually to 18,923 metric tonnes.
The rebuttal was contained in a press statement that was seen by Red Pepper digital that was signed by the Ministry’s Permanent secretary Geraldine Ssali.
Ssali clarified that Uganda’s sugar export to Kenya is governed by two regimes under COMESA Kenya Sugar safeguard and the East African Community/bilateral trade regimes.
She further stated that following the April 2021 Uganda-Kenya bilateral ministerial meeting, Uganda’s annual sugar export quota to Kenya was increased from 55,000 TO 90,000 Metric tonnes (MT); consisting of both by regimes; the COMESA Kenya sugar safeguard and the bilateral quotas.
According to the ministry, under the COMESA Kenya sugar safeguard, the quota available to all COMESA sugar exporting countries including Uganda is calculated using a formula adopted by all the COMESA council of ministers.
The formula assigns a weight of 30% to the intra-COMESA sugar trade, and 70% to surplus sugar to each respective country, applied in the context of the projected Kenya sugar deficit. The data used in the application of the formula is from internationally accredited sources notably the International Sugar Organization (ISO) and the COMESA.
She further revealed that the Sugar export quota available to Uganda in 2021 under the two regimes, the country will is set to export 18,923.63MT, and the balance of the 90,00MT annual quota (71,076.37MT) is catered for under the EAC/bilateral window.
At the end of June 2021, Uganda had exported 31,256.95MT to Kenya as opposed to the media reports that had reported a cut of 79%.
Data from the Kenyan Agriculture ministry showed that the country produces about 660,000 tons of sugar annually while imports up to 300,000 tonnes of sugar from other African countries to meet domestic demand of nearly one million tonnes.
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In 2018, there was even a proposal to import sugar from Brazil, but the move was later abolished after a public outcry and questions on the country’s stance and belief in the spirit of COMESA and EAC of which she is a member.