The ministers of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries for Kenya and Uganda have agreed to immediately remove any restrictions that have stopped trade in poultry and poultry products between the two countries.
However, the two countries agreed to continue discussions in regard to lifting the export restrictions on milk and fish.
In a joint communique issued by the two groups following a meeting in Nairobi on Tuesday, 21 December 2021, the ministers agreed that the disruptions in trade in poultry and poultry products between the two countries have affected their bilateral relations.
“Both parties agreed to immediately remove any administrative measures that have hitherto inhibited trade in poultry and poultry products,” the communique reads in part.
For fish in transit, the Ministers agreed that the two countries establish a team of key stakeholders including the Revenue and Fisheries Authorities to work out a transit mechanism for fish from Lake Turkana in Kenya to the Democratic Republic of Congo through Uganda.
There has been recent interception of fish in transit from Kenya to the Democratic Republic of Congo by the Ugandan authorities.
“Both countries also agreed to work jointly to address the challenges of harvesting immature fish in Lake Victoria,” the communique adds.
The Ministers took note of the persistence of domestic levies maintained by both countries in contravention of the EAC Customs Union Protocol.
“Both parties recalled their commitment to remove the levies during the April 2021 bilateral trade meeting in Kampala. The Ministers undertook to remove the levies immediately not later than 10 July, 2022,” the statement reads in part.
The Ministers agreed to continue cooperating on matters relating to trade in sugar, including streamlining issuance of import permits.
The Ministers took note of the ongoing trade in milk and milk products and agreed that Kenya undertakes a verification exercise of Uganda’s dairy sector during the last week of January, 2022.
The bilateral meeting was held in Nairobi. The Ugandan delegation was led by Frank K. Tumwebaze, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries; while the Kenyan delegation was led by Peter Munya, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Co-operatives and accompanied by Ms. Betty Maina, Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development.
This comes after Uganda last week said it was considering restricting some of Kenya’s raw and processed agricultural products from its market, saying it will be merely reciprocating Nairobi’s continued ban on Kampala’s produce.
Last Monday, the Ugandan Cabinet agreed to this nearly two-year proposal, which has often been opposed by President Yoweri Museveni.
According to Ms Rebecca Kadaga, the country’s minister for East African Affairs, Cabinet directed the Agriculture ministry to identify and list Kenyan products that will be banned by the Ugandan government within “a short time.”
“We have been too patient. In the past, we have not reciprocated, but now we are going to. This has gone on for too long and within a short time they too will understand what we are going through,” Kadaga told the media.
By: Kikuubo Lane