UGANDA – Ugandan Dairy Development Authority has revealed that the country is facing a significant challenge impacting the dairy sector leading to an oversupply of milk that has resulted in 23 million litres being stuck and going to waste.

According to the acting executive director at DDA, Dr Samson Akankiza, the challenge is related to the current situation whereby Kenya has refused to offer enough import permits of milk from Uganda.

“It is not like Kenya has issued a formal ban but this is through refusal of import permits which is a requirement for market access,” he said.

“So, you ask for 18 permits and they release 1 or 2. So, it appears the country is open [to the importation of milk from Uganda].”

Dr Akankiza noted that Kenya can absorb around 700 million litres of Uganda’s milk every year but only around 200 million litres of milk from the country is sold to Kenya annually.

On the other hand, Maj Gen. David Kasura Kyomukama, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, said that besides promoting local consumption through a school milk-feeding programme, they will export to more countries due to Kenya’s restrictions.

“Most of the inputs we use in the country come from Kenya. For example, Kenya is selling me vaccines [for animals]. So, if you are not buying my milk, where do you think my milk will go? or if you are slow in buying my milk, don’t you think I can also become slow in buying inputs from you?” he said.

“Already, farmers are taking our milk there but we want to formalize it. There is a big market in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi,” he added.

According to statistics from DDA, the total milk production in the country is around 3.2 billion litres per year, a jump from around 1.9 billion litres in 2014.

But milk consumption in the country, according to government statistics, has remained under 1 billion litres per year, partly because some families cannot afford the price of milk and many are also ignorant about the importance of taking milk.

The DDA has also noted that other importers of Uganda’s milk include Egypt, United Arabs Emirates, Japan, Ethiopia and Tanzania.

It added that the Algerian market deal would absorb around 1.4 billion litres of milk worth around 500 million dollars (Shs1.8 trillion).

Uganda’s dairy industry is a crucial element of the country’s economy, providing employment to over 1.5 million people and contributing significantly to its GDP.

 In recent years, Uganda has become a major milk exporter, with increasing demand for its high-quality dairy products from regional and global markets.

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