BY SAMUEL NABWIISO
A team of officials from the Kenya Ministry of Trade is in Uganda for a sugar quality verification mission.
Their objective is to ascertain the origin and status of Uganda’s sugar in order to be considered for further increase of quota to 90,000metric tons in export to Kenya.
The verification Mission will also involve other Agricultural products from Uganda such as Maize and milk, which, are key exports from Uganda to Kenya.
Addressing the media at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kampala, the Acting Permanent Secretary Ministry of Trade Industries and Cooperatives Grace Adong Choda, said: “the visiting of the Kenya verification mission is key towards promoting trade between Uganda and Kenya”.
“Recently we had a bad relationship between Uganda Kenya especially on issues related to trade. Particularly on the export of Uganda agricultural products such as Maize Sugar, poultry products.
However, with the coming of the Kenyan delegation it will help both countries to iron out non-tariff barriers that hinder effective trade between the countries” she said.
The Kenyan delegation is led by the cabinet secretary of the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprises Development Betty Maina alongside other officials from various government Institutions in Kenya such as Kenya Revenue Authority.
Speaking on behalf of the technical delegation, the Principal Secretary in the Kenyans Ministry of Industrialization John Weru said, Kenya is committed to trading with Uganda but some issues should be sorted out for the cross-border trade to be effective.
“Since Kenya has taken over the chairmanship of the East African Community under the Leadership of President Uhuru Kenyatta all trade issues between Uganda and Kenya will be sorted out for the good of the community. Both countries being members of the East African community.
The community ratified the East African Common market which allows cross border trade “He explained.
Uganda has an annual production capacity of approximately 550,000 metric tons with domestic consumption of approximately 360,000 metric tons, therefore, the country has a surplus of about 190,000 metric tons, hence the need to export its surplus production.
This visitation was supposed to have taken place in 2020, however, due to Covid-19, Kenya proposed the cancelation of that visitation.
During their stays in Uganda, the verification team will visit sugar milling companies in Uganda such as Kakira sugar factory, Kaliro sugar among other factories.