Farmers in South Western Uganda are still mourning the impacts of Kenya’s ban on dairy products being imported from Uganda.
This ban was implemented since Kenyan traders claimed that the market for their locally produced dairy products had visibly declined due to the imports coming in especially from Uganda.
This automatically reduced on the market levels for Ugandan produced dairy products as their alternative market in Kenya was swept away due to Opposition from their Kenyan counterparts
According to an agricultural extension worker hired by Pearl Dairy Farms Limited Glorias Ankunda, the amount of milk they initially bought from farms has dropped by close to 55% which is more than their initial intake.
Currently, Pearl Dairy Farms only consumes 250,000 litres from the output by the farmers unlike previously when they took up to 800,000 litres daily. This has obviously caused a deficit in the market.
Due to a surplus in output, the sand for the milk has dropped forcing the prices to ground level as well. Due to this, the prices keep on dropping more and more as the months go by.
Before the imposition of the ban by neighboring Kenya, farmers sold a litre of milk at Shs 1,500. However, after the ban was imposed at the beginning of 2020, in between March and April this year,the prices were at Shs 800 while currently, a litre goes for only Shs 600.
Farmers are not stranded as they cannot plan for the subsequent future and also, they are afraid the prices may fall even further. In an interview with a local publication, one of the farmers George Buracweke from Rwozi village, said they can hardly plan ahead yet many of them are family bread winners.
He went on to say that from his eight cows he is able to get twenty litres of milk which can only fetch him Shs 12,000 daily. In a month he is in position to earn upto Shs 360,000 only.
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On the other hand, that maintenance of the farm usually costs him Shs 600,000 which only means he is running in a deficit as his farm registers a loss of Shs 240,000 every single month.
Conclusively, the farmers calls upon the government to come to it’s aid because with the rate at which the prices of milk are dropping, they are most likely to hit a point of no recovery in their businesses.