CRISIS! Dairy Companies Count Losses, Lay Off Workers As Uganda Seeks Alternative Markets Following Kenyan Milk Ban

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On June 23, 2023, Brookside Dairy Uganda sent home at least 200 workers saying it has been forced to cut production by 75 per cent as it has been unable to export the milk produced since March.

Kenya is Uganda’s largest market in East Africa and Brookside says Nairobi has declined its 116 export permit applications.

The development has since forced the government of Uganda to shift its focus away from a market that has exhibited inconsistent behaviour.

Addressing the press, State Minister for Animal Industry, Bright Rwamirama, expressed the country’s decision to seek more stable markets and highlighted Uganda’s intent to diversify its trade avenues citing Kenya’s abrupt changes in trade policies.

Rwamirama stated that Uganda is unwilling to invest efforts in a market that is characterized by unpredictable shifts.
“We are not going to focus on a market whose stand changes like a storm,” said Rwamirama.

Rwamirama refuted allegations that Uganda exports substandard milk to the Kenyan market suggesting that these claims are part of a deliberate strategy by Kenya to hinder trade between the two nations.
“The allegations of Uganda sending low-quality milk to the Kenyan market are baseless. This is a ploy by Kenya to frustrate the trade between the two nations,” stated Rwamirama firmly.

As Uganda prepares to host the upcoming 16th African Conference scheduled for next month, Rwamirama’s statement comes at a crucial time with the conference expected to provide a platform for Uganda to enhance technological advancements within the dairy industry.

Uganda aims to utilize this opportunity to bolster its capabilities and promote the quality of its dairy products. The five-day conference is set to include participation from countries within the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

With the Kenyan ban prompting a strategic shift in trade strategies, Uganda is determined to explore new avenues and strengthen its position in the global dairy market.

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