Halaal standards  limiting growth of Uganda’s meat exports to  UAE  

Uganda only exports 12 percent of its meat potential. Photo / Edgar R Batte 

What you need to know:

  • UAE is increasingly becoming a key trade partner with Uganda and continues to present exporters with various trade opportunities

Government must support exporters to meet Halal requirements and standards to improve Uganda’s meat exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

UAE is increasingly becoming a key trade partner with Uganda and continues to present exporters with various trade opportunities, some of which remain unexploited. 

However, speaking during a government-to-government engagement between Uganda and UAE, Mr Amos Tindyebwa, the Fresh Cuts managing director, said Uganda’s private sector is exporting less than its potential, particularly to UAE and the Middle East, because of challenges of meeting Halaal requirements. 

Exporters, especially in the beef and poultry sector, he said, had been using  Halaal standards from the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, but this was changed after UAE demanded that exporters were required to use its approved standards. 

“This has been a complicated process for Ugandan exporters to process Halaal compliance because it involves high costs, unpredictable providers of Halaal standards and bureaucracies within government, which has kept our meat out of UAE,” Mr Tindyebwa said, noting that entering UAE has remained  a challenge to many exporters from Uganda. 

However, he said, in the last six years, exporters have been able to penetrate a number of Middle East markerts, such as Jordan, Oman, Bahrain and Egypt, but continue to face challenges with UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Uganda currently exports only 12 percent of its meat potential due to quality and standard related challenges. 

Early this month President Museveni visited Abu Dhabi, UAE on the invitation of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of UAE and the ruler of Abu Dhabi, to enhance trade relations.

UAE is now one of the most important export destinations for Uganda, taking at least 44 percent of Uganda’s exports, majority of which is gold. 

Speaking at the same meeting, Mr Saeed Alameri, the Abu Dhabi Food and Agriculture Authority director general, said UAE will make ensure that it eases access to certification through continuous collaboration with government.