A Kenyan verification mission to Uganda has found no evidence that the surge in milk from the country is coming from a third party nation, even with lack of clarity after Kampala failed to give all the documents the delegation requested.
Trade Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo says the delegation found production in Uganda has significantly gone up in recent years following intensive investment in the dairy sector.
However, Dr Kiptoo said Uganda could not provide data that the Kenyan delegation wanted, though the PS did not reveal the information.
“We found stable evidence that Uganda has invested heavily in the sector and the move has seen their volumes go up significantly. However, there are some documents that we wanted for verification but they could not provide so we have given them more time,” said Dr Kiptoo.
Dr Kiptoo said there was not enough evidence of cows, but at the same time there was no lead showing transshipment of milk powder from other countries.
He said nine creameries have opened in Uganda processing 950,000 litres of milk every day, using half of the installed capacity.
The PS said Uganda is supplying Kenya with 16 percent of the total demand.
To save farmers from the influx of the cheap commodity, the government has proposed a 16 percent duty on all milk imports.
“We are making a report that will be presented to the Cabinet, proposing a 16 percent duty on milk imports from Uganda in order to protect our farmers from the cheap influx of the commodity,” he said.
Data presented to Parliament recently showed milk coming from East African Community mostly from Uganda hit 110.7 million litres between January and September from three million litres in 2016.
The committee ordered the ministry to stop the imports as it was hurting local farmers with a litre of milk on average selling at Sh19 to processors, from a high of Sh37 in January.
The move to go to Kampala was occasioned by a surge in volumes of imports with complaints from farmers and processors, who have argued that the country has no capacity to export such huge quantities to Kenya.