UGANDA – Ugandan Minister of East Africa Affairs, Rebecca Kadaga, wants players in the Ugandan dairy sector to seek alternative markets for their dairy products as trade disputes between Kenya and Uganda get resolved.

Speaking at the National Resistance Movement (NRM) manifesto week, Kagaga revealed she expects feedback from Kenya on the milk ban rescindment.

She said that Uganda hoped for the two countries to resolve their trade disputes which have become a frequent problem in Uganda with no solutions.

Kadaga further proposed to players in the country’s dairy sector to explore new milk markets elsewhere that will enhance the export of their milk and milk products.

“The African continent is a virgin area for Uganda to explore; the West Africans import milk from Europe,” she said adding that she had also made a proposal to the Ministry of Works (Uganda) to start cargo flights to South Africa.

The Ugandan dairy market in Kenya has recently been limited by the current situation in the two countries trade sectors.

In early March, Kenya imposed a ban on Ugandan powdered milk, saying it was to protect local producers.

However, Kenya Dairy Board had promised to continually monitor the production and demand for milk and milk products in the country and advise the Government accordingly.

In barely two weeks after the ban, Kenya made an about-turn on its decision to allow the importation of powdered milk from Uganda.

“I’m delighted to inform the country that we received a communication from the government of Kenya informing us that the ban on the importation of dairy products into the country has been suspended,” Kadaga said expressing her excitement about the communication.

Despite the communication, the board temporarily suspended the issuance of the dairy products import permits from Uganda until what they termed as further notice.

At the beginning of May, Uganda’s Dairy Development Authority (DDA) confirmed that Kenyan authorities are limiting the number of export permits for powdered milk from the country.

“I don’t have figures off-head, but the reduction is about 20%; other products are getting permits except for milk powder, but the market is still open, and Uganda milk players are exporting products there,” DDA executive director Samson Akankiza said.

Uganda had also previously searched for a market for its milk in northern Africa after incessant trade wars with its East African neighbors.

According to the Ugandan Agriculture Minister, Frank Tumwebaze, the move would provide Ugandan farmers and milk processors with an alternative market.

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