Ugandan poultry producers and dealers have requested the government to intercede and speak with their Kenyan counterparts in order to abolish the prohibition on goods entering the Kenyan market.
Kenya prohibited the importation of poultry goods, including chicken and eggs, from inside and beyond East Africa earlier this year. Their reason was the need to safeguard and support their farmers while they recover from the Covid-19 pandemic’s disruptions.
Ugandan traders, speaking to the media on Saturday through their umbrella organisation, the Chicken Association of Uganda, claimed the “unfair” restriction on Ugandan poultry goods has had a significant impact on them.
“Our markets have been closed and trucks impounded in Kenya. We need urgent help because we deal in perishable goods. Many of us are doing this as our source of livelihood but the ban has affected all this. We got loans from banks to inject in this business but because of the ban, people are going bankrupt and banks are taking their property,” said Peter Ssenkungu, general secretary of the Poultry Association of Uganda.
Poultry farmers’ cry for help
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 criticised as unjust and not done in the East African spirit.
“There are many people whose lives are holistically dependent on this sector. This has not only affected us the traders but also farmers because we support them by buying from them. You can’t talk of the East African Federation when one country is stopping the importation of the others’ products into its market,” Ssenkungu added.
Several poultry producers claim that the prohibition has harmed them the most because they have no one to buy their products.
The group chastised the Ugandan ministry of trade’s personnel, accusing them of napping on the job and enjoying themselves in their offices while the individuals they are meant to assist are protesting.
The organisation also stated that they sought assistance from the ministry of agriculture, but that their attempts were in vain.