President says should Kenya Revenue Authority officials continue blocking Ugandan sugar and chicken from accessing the cross-border market, he will also order that Kenyan-made goods be blocked from entering the local market.
President Museveni has threatened to block Kenya products from accessing the Ugandan market saying officials in the neighboring Kenya Revenue Authority who are blocking sugar and chicken imports from Uganda are “myopic” and are contravening the East Africa Community protocol.
“We buy a lot of goods from Kenya. Some of those Kenya officials are ‘narrow’ minded. They wanted to block our sugar. Now they have gone for our chicken. If I say no more Kenya products to Uganda, they will be forced to buy,” he said.
Speaking at the launch of Hudani Manji Ltd chicken farm plant in Semuto Nakaseke district, about 50 kilometres from Kampala, President Museveni promised local manufacturers to petition Kenya government.
“I shall sort it out with President Uhuru Kenyatta,” Museveni said.
Officials from the Kenyan Revenue Authority said last evening, that they would comprehensively respond to Mr Museveni’s comments today.
President Museveni reacted after Hudani Manji Ltd, chairman Alykan Hudani complained of Kenya Revenue Authorities blocking his firm from exporting chicken to Kenya.
“Most of our chicks are imported from Kenya, they feed on Uganda made feed but they do not allow us export to Kenya. We have invested a lot of money and there is also some potential market in South Sudan. I [have previously] urged government to negotiate on our behalf to access these markets,” Hudani said.
Uganda was until February this year Kenya’s largest export market.
However, by July 2014 Tanzania had edged past Uganda as Kenya’s largest export market in East Africa due to the ongoing elimination of non-tariff barriers and increasing local production in Uganda of goods that were previously imported.
Uganda has traditionally been Kenya’s top trading partner in the region, but recent data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) ranked the country third, with Tanzania coming second.
Uganda was overtaken by the US in June as the leading export destination for Kenyan goods.
The report showed that the US imported goods from Kenya worth Ksh3.7 billion ($41.8 million) in June, followed by Tanzania at Ksh2.8 billion ($31.6 million) and Uganda at Ksh2.5 billion ($28.3 million).
We broke ground in November 2011 and 18 months later, the integrated operation consisting of a broiler farm, feed mill and abattoir was commissioned, Hundani noted. Adding, “In the next three years, we hope to open three more firms for us to realise profits.”
Hundani said they decided to invest in the poultry industry because of high local demand and lack of reliable supply.
“The sector consists of small suppliers with unreliable supply chains that frustrate both wholesale and retail customers.”
About 300 jobs have been created since the chicken plant was established.
Uganda/Kenya export volumes:
According to the Bank of Uganda July 2014 data, Kenya in 2013 exported goods worth $589.45 million (Shs1.6 trillion) to Uganda.
Among the items Kenya exported were lime, cement, fabricated construction materials and consumer goods.
Uganda, on the other hand, exported goods – mainly agricultural products – worth $268.56 million (Shs739.8 billion) to Kenya over the same period.