The Kenyan government is under increasing pressure to resolve the conflict with Uganda over the country’s restriction on the entry of milk products.
According to reports, Kenyan retailers stock long-life milk from Uganda since it is less expensive than local brands due to the neighboring nation’s lower cost of production. Despite the product having a high level of consumer demand, several traders bemoaned the fact that they were unable to stock it after the prohibition.
“Our customers are asking why we no longer stock these products, but we are not receiving any supplies from Kampala,” Edwin Ngala told the press.
Kenya currently purchases the most milk products from Uganda, paying an estimated Ksh19.2 billion a year. The value of Uganda’s milk increased by 158 tonnes, reaching a figure of Ksh100 billion, according to the most recent World Bank study.
Samson Akankiza, the executive director of the Dairy Development Authority (DDA), the sector watchdog in Uganda, warned of catastrophic repercussions for bilateral commerce between the two nations.
He specifically cautioned that the trade dispute might have long-term effects and a general influence on ties within the East African Community (EAC).
Following the imposition of the prohibition, the DDA in Uganda is reportedly storing approximately 24 million liters of milk. Kenya is looking for more markets because of the demand for the commodity, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, and Algeria.
“We need to address the factors that are making our milk expensive. Banning Uganda milk is only a short-term solution and ignoring the fact that locally produced goods are expensive as compared to our neighbours,” Jeff Muturi stated.
“It is a bad move. Kenya’s border towns with Uganda from Malaba, Busia, Suam to Moroto will have a high smuggling rate. A better way would be to slightly raise its tax,” lamented another.
Both supporters and opponents of the ban voiced their opinions about the law’s potential long-term effects online.
Some argued that the restriction would probably boost border smuggling of the good.