President Museveni to set to hold talks with his counterpart, William Ruto of Kenya, over the recent restricted importation of Uganda’s powdered milk into Kenya, after prices fell as low as Shs400 per litre.
The revelation was made by Minister of State for Trade, David Bahati while responding to a concern raised by Wilson Kanjwengye (Nyabushozi County) who decried the falling prices of milk in Kiruhura district and other parts of the country, saying the trend is not dealt with is likely to cripple livelihood of cattle farmers in Uganda.
“From this morning, the farm gate prices per litre was Shs400 in Nyabushozi is Shs400 and in most of the South Western, Central, and in the cattle corridor up to Karamoja. This is very unfortunate, and it is brought about by the fact that Kenya has unfortunately stopped giving export permit of powdered milk to Uganda,” said Kanjwengye.
In response, Minister Bahati said, “We are aware of this situation of not only milk but also other products. The head of state has been informed about this situation, and is going to engage the President of Kenya, to see how we can resolve this matter.”
Kanjwengye also said that cattle farmers buy manufactured injectables, vaccines from Kenya and now the recent ban means that these farmers won’t be able to service loans, take children to school, and will lead to loss of job and revenue because the dairy industry has been a big employer
The Nyabushozi legislator urged Government to engage urgently with Government of Kenya and address this matter and ensure that that all East Africa members remain committed to the implementation of EAC Trade Protocols and urged Government to consider the support of compensation to the farmers of this country whose livelihood is at stake and likely to collapse.
However, Minister Bahati said that although the Government can’t promise a provision of a subsidy for the farmers, Government is going to provide alternative markets for the milk and eyes have been set on the market in Algeria.
The Minister said, “We are about to sign an agreement with Algeria, where Algeria is going to take quite a sizable amount of litres for milk from Uganda. And by doing this, we will resolve this.”
The MPs asked Government to expedite the milk for schools charter should be fast tracked and implemented by this government because it will increase domestic consumption, it will increase consumption, it will stabilize prices and increase nutritional levels
The development comes at the time when recently, Dairy Development Authority (DDA) revealed that Kenya had started limiting the number of export permits for powdered milk from Uganda, by only agreeing to issuing about 20 percent of entry papers to exporters of its powdered milk.
The restriction followed an earlier ban in March 2023 when Kenya imposed a ban on Ugandan powdered milk, saying it was to protect local producers, but the ban was later lifted following bilateral discussions.
However, sources well placed with the matter argue that the restriction is targeting former Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta who owns Brookside Uganda, after his company too was denied the milk processor export permits and that those given are often delayed.
Brookside is one of Uganda’s leading milk producers and exporters alongside Pearl Dairies, Jesa Farm Dairy, Amos Dairies Uganda Limited, Paramount Dairies Limited, GBK Dairy Products Limited and Lakeside Dairy Limited.
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