Some milk producers in Western Uganda have resorted to beef production arguing that Uganda’s milk market has no sustainable market.
This comes after Kenya refused to allow Uganda milk to enter the market.
Western Uganda is a region known for cattle keeping and over the years, the production of milk has been on the rise .
But since last year when Kenya blocked Uganda’s milk, things changed many cannot even afford to pay the bills
At a farm in Rubindi town council in Mbarara Jane Tayebira told us she used to produce over 300 litres of milk daily from her farm which she would sell to one of the milk processing factories.
But the situation changed when the factory told her that it no longer has market for her milk.
“I cannot take care of my cows yet it where I earn, the government has to solve the trade war between Kenya and Uganda,” she said.
Davis Mwine, the chairperson of Rukaku Dairy Cooperative said they used to collect 5,000 litres of milk per day but the figure dropped to 1,000 litres when Pearl Dairy Farm which used to sell their milk to Kenya told them it no longer had market for the milk. This was after Kenya stopped importing Uganda’s milk citing quality issues.
Bijoy Varghese, the general manager of Pearl Dairy Farm said they were operating at 15% capacity and had laid off some workers.
“Now the company can no longer purchase the milk from the farmers because there is no market,” he said.
The minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Amelia Kyambadde said Uganda will engage Kenya to see whether they can lift the ban on milk imports.
In 2018, Uganda exported milk products to Kenya worth $ 62.9 million but earnings have since fallen to has $30 million.