By John Masaba
Kenya has lifted the ban on Ugandan milk products.
The announcement, which comes as a huge boost to importers of powdered milk to Kenya, was announced Wednesday in a letter to Kenya milk importers by the Kenya Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development.
The letter signed by Harry Kimtai, the principal secretary at the ministry, suspended a notice that had been issued on March 6, 2023 banning powdered milk products from Uganda.
Issued by the Kenya Dairy Board (KDB), KDB had cited the impending bumper rains for stoppage of the importation of milk powders, noting that the country anticipates bumper milk harvesters as a result.
As such KDB had noted that the country would no longer issue new import permits until further notice as a means to cushion Kenya milk producers.
However, in his communication Kimtai noted: “The stoppage issued through Kenya Dairy Board letter re KDB/MD/SED/1 VOL 5/58 dated March 6, 2023 is hereby suspended to allow for the Dairy Industry (import and export) registration 2021 to apply accordingly.”
Kimtai also clarified that as a member of the East African Community, Ugandan exporters were entitled to sell their products in all EAC counties, including Kenya.
“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 when in EAC are referred to as transfers,” Kimtai said.
On average Uganda exports milk products to Kenya worth $100million (about sh370.3b), according to the National Dairy Authority (NDA).
The suspension of the ban on milk comes hardly days after the Minister of East African Affairs, Rebecca Kadaga, wrote to her Kenyan counterpart Rebecca Miano protesting the ban imposed on Uganda.
Kadaga noted that she informed Miano that if effected, the ban would be damaging to Uganda dairy industry and to the spirit of the East African Community.