Uganda cabinet approves ban on Kenyan farm products

Observers: The current trade row between the two countries could have long-running implications for imports and exports across East African.

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Uganda will restrict from its domestic market certain raw and processed agricultural products from Kenya in a reciprocal move that follows her eastern neighbor’s continued ban on some of her farm products.

On Monday, the Ugandan cabinet finally agreed to the nearly two-year-old proposal which has often been opposed by President Yoweri Museveni.

According to Ms Rebecca Kadaga, who serves as Uganda’s minister for East African Affairs, the country’s cabinet has directed the agriculture ministry to identify and list particular Kenyan products that will then be banned by the Ugandan government “in a short time.”

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Ms .Rebecca Kadaga, Uganda’s minister for East African Affairs

“We have been too patient. In the past, we have not reciprocated, but now we are going to. This has gone on for too long and within a short time they too will understand what we are going through,” Kadaga warned.

Kadaga addressed the media on Tuesday morning.

Importation of milk from Uganda

Kenya and Uganda have for long had trade fights but 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 too this week petitioned their government over Kenya’s ban of Uganda’s poultry products from her market for nearly a year now.

Kenya maintains that some of the products are substandard and that it’s protecting its domestic market.

Kenya is Uganda’s biggest trade partner; the country’s exports to Uganda were worth US$673.66 million in 2020 while Uganda’s exports to Kenya stood at US$465.55 million during the same period. 

Observers believe the current trade row between the two countries could have long-running implications for imports and exports across the East African region. They further point out that the restrictions go against a Customs Union Protocol established by the East African Community (EAC) single market.

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