KENYA – Kenya has emerged as the primary destination for Uganda’s dairy exports, representing the greatest portion of the country’s trade in dairy and related products, according to a report from the Dairy Development Authority (DDA). 

According to the report, for the period ending June 2023, Kenya accounted for over two-thirds, representing 80% of Uganda’s dairy exports. 

The DDA’s 2022/23 Annual Report revealed that Uganda exported dairy and related products valued at Kes 976.3 billion during the period, with 83% of this total, amounting to Kes 810.5 billion, going to Kenya.  

Among the exported products were butter, cheese, ghee, UHT milk, yogurt, and milk powder, reflecting the diversity of Uganda’s dairy exports to its East African neighbor and one of its largest trading partners. 

Uganda’s dairy exports have historically faced challenges, particularly with blockades imposed by Kenya to protect its local dairy markets.  

While it’s unclear whether Kenya has lifted some of these bans, Uganda has continued to explore new export markets.  

Notably, Uganda’s dairy products have gained access to markets in Algeria and Senegal, providing a strategic diversification amidst trade restrictions from neighboring countries like Kenya and Rwanda. 

The report highlighted milk powder as the most exported product, constituting 54.2% of total dairy exports, valued at Kes 529 billion.  

Other significant export destinations besides Kenya included the US and Egypt, showcasing Uganda’s expanding global reach in the dairy trade. 

On the import front, Uganda primarily imports dairy products such as milk powder, butter, cheese, infant formula, yogurt, and ice cream from various countries, including France, Poland, Mexico, and South Africa. 

 Despite facing challenges in export markets, Uganda’s dairy sector continues to thrive, with the country importing dairy products from 41 different countries during the period under review. 

Meanwhile, Kenya has witnessed a substantial increase in dairy imports from Uganda, nearly tripling in the year leading up to June 2023.  

The surge in imports is attributed to increased production in Uganda and heightened demand from processors in Kenya.  

Butter, cheese, ghee, UHT milk, yogurt, and milk powder are among the dairy products imported by Kenya from Uganda, further solidifying the bilateral trade relations between the two East African nations. 

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