Kenya suspends ban imposed on powder milk imports
Kenya has lifted the recent ban on milk powder imports into the country “to allow for the appropriate implementation of the Dairy Industry (Import and Export) Regulations 2021”.
The Kenya Dairy Board on March 6 announced an indefinite suspension of milk powder imports to protect local processors and farmers from lower prices as milk powder imports could lead to market flooding.
This action was taken by the government due to the arrival of the monsoon rains which are expected to boost domestic milk production significantly, thereby reducing the overall need for importation.
But in a statement on March 14, 2023, Kenya’s Secretary of State for Agriculture and Livestock Harry Kimtai announced the lifting of the milk powder import ban.
Uganda, which sells dairy products to Kenya, welcomed the new announcement.
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The announcement of the suspension of milk powder imports to Kenya dampened President William Ruto’s hopes as he took power and announced he would allow cheap milk to be imported from Uganda and process Kenyan milk for the international market.
Kenya was Uganda’s main buyer of dairy products, although trade relations were not good due to many obstacles, leading Uganda to seek new markets for milk and dairy products.
According to the Uganda Dairy Development Authority, the country has created new markets for milk, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Zambia and Algeria. The others are the United Arab Emirates, Syria, Japan, Oman, the United States, Nepal and Bangladesh.
During his recent three-day state visit to Algeria, President Yoweri Museveni made a breakthrough in finding a market for Ugandan milk.
It is noteworthy that Algeria has agreed to purchase milk powder from Uganda in various agreements and memoranda of understanding signed between the two countries.
Museveni said Algeria would buy $500 million worth of milk. Uganda’s Agriculture Minister Frank Tomoebazi said the country is no longer concerned about the market but is now focusing on improving standards.