Kenya restricts Milk Powder Imports from Uganda

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Kenya has imposed restrictions on the export of powdered milk from Uganda, despite an earlier lift on a ban issued by the regulator.

This move has particularly affected prominent players in the dairy sector, such as Brookside.

The Dairy Development Authority (DDA) of Uganda has confirmed that Kenyan authorities are not issuing export permits for powdered milk from Uganda. Mr. Samson Akankiza, the executive director of DDA, suggested that Kenya might be using this restriction to protect its local market.

He noted a decrease in the export of powdered milk, despite Kenya lifting the earlier ban imposed by the Kenya Dairy Board (KDB).

According to Mr. Akankiza, “Other products are getting permits except for milk powder, but the market is still open, and Uganda milk players are exporting products there.”

The restrictions on milk powder imports highlight conflicting instructions that were previously issued on the matter.

In March, KDB initially banned the importation of powdered milk, but the decision was later overturned by the Department of Livestock.

Livestock Principal Secretary Harry Kimtai suspended the notice issued by KDB just days after the ban was announced, allowing the Dairy Industry (Import and Export) Regulations 2021 to be applied instead.

Responding to inquiries, Ms. Margret Kibogy, the managing director of KDB, stated that there were no issues between the two countries and described the trade between Kenya and Uganda as smooth.

This recent standoff revives a longstanding trade dispute between Kenya and Uganda regarding milk imports.

In 2020, Nairobi confiscated numerous milk consignments from Uganda during this ongoing trade war. While some trade issues have been resolved between the two countries, the matter of milk imports remains unresolved.

A planned delegation from Kenya to Kampala for a fact-finding mission regarding this issue has yet to take place.