UGANDA – Ugandan government has proposed to hold talks with the Kenyan government, over restrictions on the importation of its powdered milk, as it continues negotiating with Algeria to be an alternative market for its dairy products.
According to the government, the proposal was a response to a concern raised by the county representatives decrying the falling prices of milk in the country.
David Bahati, the country’s Minister of State for Trade, said that if the trend was not dealt with It would lead to the crippled livelihood of cattle farmers in the country.
“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,” he revealed.
According to a county legislator, Wilson Kanjwengye, the situation has led to the rise of farm gate prices of milk to sh400 per liter which he said was very unfortunate and brought about by the fact that Kenya has stopped issuing export permits to Uganda.
He urged the Ugandan government to engage urgently with Kenya and address this matter and ensure that all East African members remain committed to the implementation of EAC Trade Protocols.
The legislator added that the government should 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 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.
“We are about to sign an agreement with Algeria, where Algeria is going to take quite a sizeable number of litres of milk from Uganda. And by doing this, we will resolve this,” he said.
He added that the country wants to find a lasting solution to protect the community because Uganda is committed to all the protocols signed and they expect that our sister countries should do the same.
On his visit to Algeria earlier in March, Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni reached an agreement with host Abdelmadjid Tebboune, the president of Algeria, to increase trade in agricultural goods, notably dairy products, and to increase cooperation in areas such as animal health.
When in Algiers, President Museveni reportedly indicated that he believed Algeria and the East African Community working together might build a powerful cluster for economic development.
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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