By Our Reporter
Kampala: Government is negotiating with the Algerian government as an alternative market for Ugandan milk, according to Hon. David Bahati, Minister of State for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (Industry).
Bahati made this revelation while responding to a matter of national importance raised by Hon. Wilson Twinomugisha Kajwenjye (NRM, Nyabusozi County) during the plenary sitting on Wednesday, 24 May 2023.
The Kenyan Government has reduced issuing export permits to Uganda’s powdered milk.
“We are now in advanced stages of engaging Algeria. We are about to sign an agreement where Algeria is going to take quite a sizeable amount of litres of milk, and by finding alternative markets, taking advantage of the African Continental Free Trade area, then we will resolve this,” Bahati said.
Bahati added that President Yoweri Museveni and his Kenya counterpart, William Ruto will hold talks to resolve the impasse.
“At operational level, we have arranged a Council of Ministers to discuss this matter of milk and other products and bring it to the Heads of State summit,” Bahati said.
He added that, ‘we want to find a lasting solution on how we can protect the community because as Uganda, we have been committed to all the protocols we have signed and we expect that our sister countries should do the same’.
Twinomugisha said that the decision by Kenya to reduce issuing export permits to Uganda’s powdered milk has affected milk prices.
“Farm gate price is now at Shs400 a litre in the cattle corridors. Farmers buy manufactured injectables and vaccines from Kenya and now they cannot service loans they got when milk was Shs1,000 a litre. It is going to be loss of government revenue and jobs,” he said.
He called on the East African Community (EAC) states to uphold the implementation of the EAC trade protocols.
“The milk for school’s project should be fast tracked and implemented because it will increase domestic consumption, stabilise prices and increase nutrition level,” he added.