By Nelson Mandela Muhoozi
Kenya Diary Board in a document dated March 6, 2020, and addressed to all importers of milk produce, announced that importation of all milk powders be temporarily suspended to cushion the industry from surplus production and low product prices.
The communique indicated that the issuance of import permits be temporarily halted till further notice.
The document notes that the board will continue to monitor the production and demand for milk products and advise the government accordingly.
In addition, the document also notes that the temporary halting of the importation of milk products is in anticipation of long rains.
“Kenya’s ban on importation of our products is not new, if it’s not milk, it’s eggs or grain. The ban contradicts the EAC (East African Community) trade protocols, the Common Market Protocol on free movement of goods and services, as well as the agreement that established the African Free Continental Trade Area (AfCFTA),” said Sarah Kagingo, the Vice Chairperson of Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU).
Asked what direction PSFU plans to take with the Ugandan milk producers, Kagingo said their approach is engagement.
“Our approach is engagement, not belligerence. Experience shows that engagement delivers,” said Kagingo.
She added, “regional trade should be the cornerstone of EAC Partner States’ policies. Our countries signed the Common Market Protocol in 2009 which came into force in July 2010. However, the practice often contradicts what was ratified, and businessmen engaged in export need handholding. We (PSFU), in partnership with the Ugandan government, have held several business summits too, among others, resolve barriers to trade and travel.”