Uganda’s Dairy Development Authority (DDA) says Kenyan authorities are limiting the number of export permits for powdered milk from the country.
DDA executive director Samson Akankiza told The Monitor that Nairobi is only issuing about 20 percent of entry papers to exporters of its powdered milk.
“I don’t have figures off-head, but the reduction is about 20 percent. Other products are getting permits except milk powder; but the market is still open, and Uganda milk players are exporting products there,” he said.
In early March, Kenya imposed a ban on Ugandan powdered milk, saying it was to protect local producers. A few weeks later, it reopened the doors following bilateral discussions.
“The official position is that the ban was lifted, and now we are seeing a reduction in volumes of milk powder being exported there,” Mr Akankiza said.
His statements come after Benson Mwangi, the general manager at Brookside Uganda, a firm owned by the family of former President Uhuru Kenyatta, said Nairobi is denying the milk processor export permits and that those given are often delayed.
“Effective March 19, 2023, the Kenyan government through Kenya Dairy Board stopped issuing permits for our dairy products in the Kentrade system, affecting our factory output significantly,” he says in a letter dated April 5.
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.
The Kenyan-owned firm, together wit Pearl and Amos dairies are expected to sign export agreements with Algeria in June after Uganda widened its search for a market for its milk following the incessant trade wars with its East African neighbours.
Kenya has been the leading buyer of Uganda’s milk, with imports valued at $138.2 million in 2020, although trade relations between the two countries have faced several barriers, prompting Uganda to search for new markets for its milk as many of its dairy processors were hard it by the loss of the Kenyan market.