The Minister for General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, Kasule Lumumba, has told Parliament that Kenya’s latest ban on Uganda’s poultry products is a big concern that needs to be handled expeditiously.
Responding to a concern raised by Mukono North MP, Abdallah Kiwanuka, about the ongoing impasse between Kenya and Uganda over the importation of the latter’s poultry products, Lumumba said that the issue had been brought to the attention of the Government and she was optimistic that the matter would be resolved.
Kiwanuka said Ugandan farmers continue to count losses for failure to export their perishable poultry products to neighbouring Kenya in defiance with the East African Federation and Open market Protocol.
He appealed to the Ugandan Government to engage the Kenya Government to agree on various products which can enter into an open market protocol.
“If these engagements fail, then our Government should in retaliation ban Kenya’s products. It is unfortunate that Kenya exports more chicks to Uganda but when it comes to Uganda exporting, then there is a ban,” Kiwanuka said.
Earlier in the day, the Minister for East African Affairs, Rebecca Kadaga, who addressed a press conference, directed the Agriculture ministry to identify and list Kenyan products that will be banned by the Ugandan government within “a short time.”
She said that on Monday, the Ugandan Cabinet agreed to this nearly two-year proposal, which has often been opposed by President Yoweri Museveni.
The latest hostilities between the two EAC partner states began brewing in December 2019, when Kenya stopped importing Ugandan milk, particularly the Lato brand.
In July 2020, Kenya followed up with a ban on Ugandan sugar, against an earlier agreement to increase Uganda’s sugar exports to Kenya.
Players within Uganda’s poultry industry to this week petitioned their Government over Kenya’s ban of Uganda’s poultry products from their market for nearly a year.
Kenya maintains that some of the products are substandard and that it’s protecting its domestic market.
In November, Nairobi postponed a trade mission to Uganda to resolve the sugar and milk import standoff, amid jitters on whether the two countries are ready to find a lasting solution to the impasse.
Kenya is Uganda’s biggest trade partner. Kenyan exports to Uganda in 2020 amounted to $673.66 million while Uganda’s exports to Kenya stood at $465.55 million during the same period.
Lumumba informed the House that a meeting was underway chaired by Rt Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs together with the Ministers of Agriculture and Trade over the same.
She reechoed that the matter is affecting the farmers because 70 per cent of eggs are exported to Kenya, while 80 per cent of chicks in Uganda are supplied by Kenya, So, this concerns us all,” she said.
Lumumba promised to issue a comprehensive statement on Wednesday, 15th December 2021 on the Floor of Parliament arising from the ongoing discussions.