Algeria Ready to Import Ugandan Milk Worth $500m

Ugandan dairy farmers are bracing for more export opportunities following a revelation by President Yoweri Museveni that Algeria is ready to consume milk worth $500m from the east African country.

“I met Cherif Qualid, the Algerian Ambassador to Uganda. I am happy to hear that Algeria is interested in buying milk worth $500m from us. Therefore, the Joint Ministerial Council should make plans to complete the signing of all necessary documents with Algeria,” President Museveni revealed in November.

The good news come after a series of meetings in which the two countries vowed to increase their cooperation.

The news was welcomed by locals who hailed President Museveni for always seeking trade opportunities with African, as well as other countries.

A trader named Jordan said: “Thank you, H.E., for your strategic efforts to ensure that Uganda and Algeria have a bilateral relationship that benefits from working together on trade projects like buying our country’s excess milk production!”

Another trader added: “The milk sector in Uganda will yield more benefits now that Algeria has pledged to support the milk industry in Uganda.”

Milk production

Milk production in Uganda has increased from 2.5 billion litres in 2018 to 2.8 billion litres in 2020, according to government statistics.

However, of these litres, only 34% is processed into products such as powdered milk; ghee, butter, UHT milk and casein/whey. Other products are pasteurized milk, yoghurt, cream, ice cream, fermented milk and cheese.

However, Agriculture minister Frank Tumwebaze has tasked government technical teams with pushing for the industrialization of the subsector in order to boost dairy processing further in the next three years.

Dairy exports expected to grow higher

A report from the Dairy Development Authority (DDA) released last year indicated that revenue from export of dairy products had risen from $131.5m in 2018 to $205m in 2020.

Kenya’s President William Ruto also recently okayed the export of Uganda’s dairy products to his country.

Already Uganda is exporting dairy products to other countries in the region as well as UAE, Syria, Japan, Oman, USA, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Earlier negotiations

In June, President Kaguta Museveni held discussions with the Algerian Special Envoy, Ramtane Lamamra who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

 Lamamra had carried a special message from the President of Algeria, Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

“They discussed bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the fields of Trade, Agriculture and Security, among others. Museveni lobbied the Algerians to come and invest in Uganda especially in Agricultural value additional. He also asked Algeria to stop importing milk from Europe and buy it from Uganda,” a foreign affairs statement said.

Lamamra expressed need for the two countries to do more on bilateral cooperation and increase on trade.

In May, the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry pledged to strengthen and grow trade with Algeria. This was during a visit by a business delegation from Algeria to Uganda in which both sides agreed to harness investment and trade opportunities plus exchange ideas and information between the two countries.

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