Recently Kenyan Government announced that had lifted trade barriers on milk products from Uganda.This announcement came with a huge boost to exporters of powdered milk to Kenya. In a letter to Kenya milk importers by the Kenya Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development signed by Harry Kimtai, the principal secretary at the ministry, suspended a notice that had been issued on March 6, 2023, banning powdered milk products from Uganda.
Ever since, the lift was announced, up to now milk products don’t access Kenyan Market.This has forced Benson Mwangi, the general manager of Brookside Uganda one of the leading companies manufacturing dairy products to ask ministry of trade , industry and cooperatives to intervene.
Below is the letter
To Hon. Francis Mwebesa
Minister of Trade, Industry and Co-operatives
P.O. Box 7103
5th April 2023
RE: DENIAL OF MILK EXPORT PERMITS TO THE KENYAN MARKET
We wish to express our appreciation for the support that we have been receiving from your Ministry through the
facilitation of the local and export trade which has led to a significant growth in the Ugandan Livestock and Dairy
It is through the support from your Ministry and the Government of Uganda that we have managed to establish a
stable and sustainable demand for the Ugandan dairy products both in the Local and the Regional market. This has
enabled us to not only support our Ugandan farmers to improve their means of livelihood and financial wellbeing
but has also provided the opportunity to positively contribute to and strengthen regional integration and economic
growth of Uganda and East Africa in general.
Despite the 5 consecutive years of drought experienced in the region as reported by IGAD, Uganda milk supplies
have played a critical role in the stabilization of the region’s dairy requirements and the enhancement of the
region’s food security without having to import dairy products from the rest of the World (Mainly from Europe and
New Zealand) as has historically been the case in the period of extended drought in the region.
We however wish to bring your attention to a particular challenge that we are currently facing through non-tariff
barriers that have been imposed in Kenya by the Kenyan regulator, namely Kenya Dairy Board.
Effective 19th March 2023, the Kenyan government, through Kenya Dairy Board, stopped issuing permits for our
Dairy products in their Kentrade system, affecting our factory output significantly. This is after a notice banning
dairy imports, issued by the same regulator (Kenya Dairy Board) was rescinded by the Principal Secretary, State
Department for Livestock Development, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development vide his letter dated
14th March 2023 (REF. MLD/IMPORT 1/VOL. 8).
Despite rescinding of the suspension by the Principal Secretary, it is apparent that this has been ignored and the
permits are still being denied by the same regulator (Kenya Dairy Board). As at the date of this letter, there are 36
permits awaiting approval by the Regulator.
It is on the basis of these sales as well as the potential for growth in local and other markets that this Company has
been planning for a UGX 38 Billion investment to finance the refurbishment, upgrade and expansion of our factory
facilities in Kampala. This investment is in addition to UGX 226 Billion which the Company has so far invested in the
Dairy sector. We believe that this is aligned to your Ministry’s mission of “developing and promoting a competitive
and export-led Private Sector through industrial development for economic growth”.
As a Company, we continue working on the expansion of domestic consumption and diversification of our export
markets. We also appreciate the initiative that you have been providing in this area including sourcing for
alternative export markets such as Algeria. We are however aware that these are long term initiatives which may
not replace the Kenyan market in the short term. In this context and in view of the current uncertainties with the
Kenyan regulator, we will have no choice but to put on hold the planned investments in the factory until the
It is also worth noting that, the current situation is likely to res ult in a significant reduction in our raw milk
purchases, depressed raw milk prices to the farmers and job losses in addition to other adverse long term effects
on the Dairy sector as some of the stakeholders divest from the industry.
We are therefore seeking your urgent intervention in unlocking the current blockade from the Kenyan government
so that we can restore the normal flow of the Region’s dairy trade.
It is our hope that by achieving this we can jointly scale greater heights.