- Initially, each milk processors would get 5 permits for 5 trucks a day through the Kenyan border .
- Now only a few trucks can be cleared for an entire week.
It is unfortunate to hear that Uganda's milk industry players are still experiencing challenges with the issuance of export permits to Kenya, despite the suspension of the decree to stop the importation of milk powder from neighboring countries. The delays and non-issuance of permits by the Kenya Dairy Board can have a significant impact on Uganda's dairy industry, which heavily relies on exports to Kenya.
It is crucial for the East African Community to have efficient trade protocols that ensure the smooth flow of goods within the region. The importation of products under the East African Community (BAC) protocol is meant to refer to goods imported from outside the East African Community, while goods traded within EAC are referred to as transfers. However, it seems that some processors are not receiving permits at all, which raises questions about the criteria used by the Kenya Dairy Board to award permits.
The situation described by Musafari Hamidu, a truck driver of one of the leading milk companies in Uganda, is concerning. It appears that the number of permits awarded to milk processors has reduced significantly, which could cause a decline in Uganda's milk exports to Kenya. The search for new markets for Uganda's milk and milk products is a welcome move, but it is essential to ensure that existing trade relations are consistent and reliable.
The fact that Kenya is the leading buyer of Uganda's milk products highlights the significance of trade relations between the two countries. It is necessary for both countries to work together to address the challenges facing the dairy industry and ensure that trade protocols are efficient and effective. Additionally, exploring new markets for Uganda's milk and milk products can help diversify the country's export markets and reduce reliance on a single market.
It is encouraging to hear that Uganda has established new markets for its milk, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Zambia, and Algeria. This diversification of export markets can help reduce the country's reliance on a single market and increase its competitiveness in the global dairy industry.
It is also noteworthy that Uganda has over 880 licensed dairy businesses, with major producers such as Pearl Dairies, Brookside Limited/Fresh Dairy, Jesa Farm Dairy, Amos Dairies Uganda Limited, Paramount Dairies Limited, GBK Dairy Products Limited, and Lakeside Dairy Limited. This demonstrates the significant contribution of the dairy industry to Uganda's economy and the importance of ensuring that trade relations with other countries are consistent and reliable.
However, the announcement by the Kenya Dairy Board dated 6th March 2023, reinstating the 2021 ban on Ugandan milk products' importation into Kenya, is concerning. This decision goes against Kenyan President Ruto's directive to lift the ban on Ugandan agricultural produce, including milk, eggs, and chicken. The ban's reinstatement could have a direct impact on Uganda's dairy industry, which relies heavily on exports to Kenya.
It is essential for both countries to work together to find a solution that benefits both parties and ensures efficient trade protocols. The meeting between President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Kenyan Trade Minister Kuria Moses in Kampala in late January 2023 was a step in the right direction. However, it is necessary to continue engaging in constructive dialogue and finding solutions that support the growth and development of both countries' dairy industries.