Kenya will not fully lift the ban on imports of poultry and its products from Uganda imposed in January last year, Agriculture Chief Administrative Secretary Andrew Timur has said. He said whether or not the ban will be totally lifted will depend on an assurance by Uganda that they have fully contained the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) that emerged early last year.
Outbreak of the dangerous flu led to massive loss to Ugandan farmers as well as traders from Kenya who have been importing poultry products. Kenya immediately formed a technical team to pursue the matter with the Ugandan authorities. The team of experts was drawn from Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, African Union, Food Agricultural Organisation and University of Nairobi.
“The team undertook a qualitative risk assessment on Avian Influenza incursion into Kenya from Uganda and gave recommendations,” he added.
Tuimur who spoke by phone said the Uganda government is yet to communicate on whether the disease has been fully eliminated or not.
The team after inspecting the situation in Uganda highlighted a number of recommendations which the Ugandan authorities and traders must comply with before they are allowed to resume business in the Kenya market. Currently, for any poultry products to enter Kenya, traders must present a certificate of origin to Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) authorities as part of inspection at the border.
Kenya has a population of 32 million birds but it is not enough to feed the consumers of poultry products. While Kenya import poultry worth Sh500 million from Uganda, significant trade is carried out through informal avenues.
Further, Kenya also imports more products from South Africa, Israel and other sources.
“There are three poultry firms from Uganda permitted to export their products to Kenya. Further monitoring of other companies that export poultry and poultry products to Kenya will continue to be intensified to ensure full compliance on outlined conditions before they are allowed to resume business,” said Timur. The three include Hudani Manji Holdings-Rainbow, SR Afrochick and Kukuchic.