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Ugandan chicken producers and traders are tallying their losses

Ugandan chicken producers and traders are tallying their losses as a result of Kenya's embargo.

Ugandan poultry producers and traders have asked the government to intercede and speak with their Kenyan counterparts in order to abolish the ban on the products entering the Kenyan market.

Kenya banned the importation of poultry products, including chicken and eggs, from inside and outside East Africa earlier this year, citing the need to safeguard and support its producers while they recover from the Covid pandemic’s disruptions.

Ugandan traders, speaking to journalists on Saturday through their umbrella organization, the Poultry Association of Uganda, claimed the “unfair” restriction on Ugandan poultry goods has had a significant impact on them.

“In Kenya, our markets have been shut down, and our trucks have been confiscated. Because we deal in perishable commodities, we require immediate assistance. Many of us rely on this as a source of income, but the prohibition has harmed everything. The Poultry Association of Uganda General Secretary, Peter Ssenkungu, said, “We acquired loans from banks to invest in this company, but because of the prohibition, people are going bankrupt and banks are confiscating their property.”

The restriction was declared by the Kenyan government, according to the traders, who had invested large sums of money in the chicken sector, but the action was criticized as unfair and not done in the East African spirit.

“Many people’s life are completely reliant on this industry. This has impacted not only us as dealers, but also farmers, who we support by purchasing from them. You can’t talk about the East African Federation when one country bans the importation of products from other countries.”

Farmers have been struck the worst.

Several poultry farmers claim that the prohibition has harmed them the most because they have no one to buy their products.

“Agriculture, namely the poultry business, is Uganda’s most important trading sector. Kenya accounts for 70% of the market for our chicken products, with only 20% consumed domestically and the remainder shipped to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “By implementing a ban, we will be at a complete loss,” said Charles Jagwe, a poultry farmer with over 80,000 birds.

“Many of us raise the birds in the hopes of earning money to support ourselves, send our children to school, and pay agricultural employees. This is no longer possible because the products are no longer purchased.”

A number of Ugandan vehicles transporting poultry goods have been seized in Kenya, with fines of up to Shs 32 million per truck.

The group, on the other hand, chastised Ministry of Trade personnel, accusing them of napping on the job and enjoying themselves in their offices while the individuals they are supposed to assist are protesting.

The organization also stated that they sought assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture, but that their attempts were in vain.

“On the topic, the ministers are sleeping, and everyone in the line ministries is sleeping.” We’ve talked to the line ministries, for example, but haven’t received any help. We are requesting that the government intervene and expedite talks with their Kenyan counterparts in order to lift the ban on poultry products.”

A trade war is underway.

Uganda has been the target of trade blockades on multiple times, particularly by Kenya, which has protectionist tendencies.

Kenya has banned cattle, milk, and maize from Uganda, causing the West African country to lose billions of dollars in foreign cash.

Uganda, on the other hand, has never prohibited any country’s products from entering the country.

It’s unclear how the impasse will be resolved.

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