Commodities

Traders defy Ugandan poultry products import ban

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A trader at Oile Market in Kisumu. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Kenyan traders are still importing poultry products from Uganda despite a ban imposed in January.
  • Through a memo issued to stakeholders, the Directorate of Veterinary Services stopped all chicken, meat and egg importation to cushion local producers.

Kenyan traders are still importing poultry products from Uganda despite a ban imposed in January.

Through a memo issued to stakeholders, the Directorate of Veterinary Services stopped all chicken, meat and egg importation to cushion local producers amid low demand from restaurants and eateries following Covid-19 economic disruption.

Importers have, however, found ways to import the products into the country, defying the ban and leading to an outcry from local producers who were hoping to ride on the reduced competition to stay afloat during the Covid-19 restriction period.

A spot check by the Business Daily at Ugandan Yokuku shops in Nairobi’s Roysambu, Kawangware, Umoja and Kitengela revealed that the company is still selling dressed Yokuku chicken, which is processed in Uganda.

“Our farmers have been affected heavily by this second curfew and we need to protect them at all costs to ensure they are benefiting from this window and opportunity,” Kiambu Poultry Farmers Cooperative Association Director Zack Munyambu said.

This comes at a time when the total dressed frozen chicken inventory in the country rose by over 60 per cent.

Data from the Kenya Poultry and Breeders Association (KPBA) showed that inventory rose from 170, 860 in January to 450,000 last month.

“In order to preserve the remaining production potential for 2021, the importation of poultry meat and poultry products must cease as soon as possible so that the industry, especially those who play key roles in the value chain, can hold on until times are less volatile,” Federation of Poultry Farmers, a lobby for poultry farmers, said.

Whereas Ugandan poultry products accessing Kenya are untaxed, Uganda imposes a cumulative 25 per cent duty on Kenyan poultry products, comprising 18 percent VAT, six percent withholding tax and one percent road levy.