Kenyan traders have asked their government to tighten the ban on Uganda’s poultry imports.
The demand comes just days amid talks in which Kenyan officials were in Uganda last week to discuss trade barriers on a number of products including sugar, maize and milk.
In January, Kenya’s Directorate of Veterinary Services banned importation of poultry and beef products as it sought to protect its farmers from competition as well as support the resumption of the sector that had been dampened by Covid-19 related disruptions.
However, reports by Business Daily yesterday indicated dealers in Kenya, specifically Yo Kuku, were still trading in poultry products processed from Uganda, which has prompted traders in to petition government to tighten the January ban in order to protect dealers amid a second wave of Covid-19.
Mr Zack Munyambu, the Kiambu Poultry Farmers’ Cooperative Association director, told Business Daily that the Kenyan government needed to protect its farmers from imports amid restrictions occasioned by the second curfew.
“Our farmers have been affected heavily by this second curfew and we need to protect them at all costs,” Mr Munyambu said, noting there was need to tighten the ban to ensure that farmers are not exposed by imports that are smuggled into the country.
In the same measure, Business Daily reported the Federation of Poultry Farmers, had demanded that: “… the importation of poultry meat and poultry products ceases as soon as possible so that the industry ... can hold on until times are less volatile.”
This is the second time Kenya farmers have sought for protection with the first plea in December resulting into a ban on poultry exports from Uganda that had been recovering from a 2018 ban occasioned by suspected bird flu.
Business Daily yesterday reported that Ugandan poultry products, despite an ongoing ban, had been located in Yo Kuku outlets in the Nairobi suburbs of Roysambu, Kawangware, Umoja and Kitengela.
However, Mr Rahim Manji, the Yo Kuku executive director, yesterday told Daily Monitor, the company had ceased exporting its products to Kenya months ago, noting there was a possibility that what is being sold now is stock before the ban was instituted.
“That is not true. We are not exporting our products to Kenya. The borders were closed. What is on shelves is stock before the ban,” he said.
Mr Aga Ssekalala Jr, the Poultry Association of Uganda chairman, said the ban has impacted business in Uganda, forcing some companies to heavily downsize operations while others have temporally closed.
Mr Ssekalala also noted that it was disappointing that a delegation from Kenya, which was in the country last week, had only dealt with sugar and maize with poultry issues referred to a later date.
Data from Uganda Bureau of Statistics indicate that between 2014 and 2018, Uganda’s poultry production capacity increased to 42.9 million birds with 87.7 per cent of these being indigenous.
A total of 930 million eggs were produced in the period up from 856 million eggs in 2014. The increase indicates a 2.6 per cent rise in eggs in 2018 from 907.1 million in 2017.