Kenya seeks new date for Uganda trade mission in bid to end milk standoff

Wednesday January 26 2022

An employee at a milk collection centre in Kenya. FILE PHOTO | NMG


Kenya has requested Uganda to issue a different date for a trade mission to Kampala after an invitation to attend the talks in the neighbouring country was received late.

Kenya’s delegation was supposed to start the trade mission to Uganda on Monday after Kampala finally issued a date.

However, the letter which was sent through the ministries of foreign affairs and trade was received late, prompting Kenya to seek an alternative date to give room for preparations.

Kenya wants to visit Uganda to ascertain that all the milk that comes from there is produced by local farmers, following allegations that the commodity is imported from third-party countries as powder and reconstituted before it is exported to Kenya as fresh.

Livestock Principal Secretary Harry Kimtai, who is leading the delegation said they cannot make it this week and they need new dates in order to comply with the terms of reference that Uganda has issued.

“I have seen the letter today morning and we cannot make it to Uganda this week because we need to come up with a list of delegates who will have to take part in the trade mission, as part of the terms of reference issued by Uganda,” said Mr Kimtai.


Officials in the team will include trade experts, customs officials and food scientists, who will play an instrumental role during the proposed trade talks.

Kenya wants to find out if Uganda has been adhering to the East African Community rules of origin on milk exports from Kampala before resuming normal trade of the commodity following a 2019 ban.

Mr Kimtai said once they authenticate that Uganda can produce surplus milk, which is supplied to Kenya, then the matter will be resolved once and for all.

The meeting by the Kenya delegation to Uganda has been postponed three times in the past year, delaying the resumption of normal trade on dairy products between the two countries.

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