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Kenya Suspends Ban on Ugandan Milk

Kenya is Uganda’s major milk market but the constant barriers have prompted the search for wider markets, especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Zambia, and Algeria.
posted onMarch 15, 2023
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The government of Kenya has temporarily lifted the ban on the importation of milk powder, which had raised tension among Ugandan traders.

In a notice dated March 6 sent to all milk importers in Kenya, Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) said it was moving to protect local farmers from external products, as their output is expected to increase soon.

“In anticipation of the long rains, the government has stopped the importation of milk powders to cushion the industry from surplus production and low prices,” Margaret Kibogy, KDB managing director, said in the notice.

She said that the board would no longer issue new import permits until further notice. Though the letter was generalized, some businesspeople in Kampala alleged it was targeted at imports from Uganda, which until recently, were being blocked from the Kenyan market.

Now the Kenyan ministry of agriculture and livestock development has reversed the suspension. "Reference is made to the recent communication made by Kenya Dairy Board regarding the stoppage of Milk Powder Imports," Harry Kimtai, the principal secretary in the ministry said in a March 14 statement.

"Take note that, Importation of Products under the East African Community (EAC) protocol refers to goods being imported from outside the East African Community, while goods traded within EAC are referred to as transfers," he added. "The stoppage issued through Kenya Dairy Board letter ... is hereby suspended to allow for the Dairy Industry (Import and Export)."

Kenya is Uganda’s major milk market but the constant barriers have prompted the search for wider markets, especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Zambia, and Algeria. Other destinations for Ugandan milk products, especially powdered milk include United Arab Emirates, Syria, Japan, Oman, USA, Nepal, and Bangladesh according to the Dairy Development Authority (DDA). Processed milk accounts for more than 35% of Uganda’s marketed milk according to DDA.
 

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