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Cheap Imports Suffocate Uganda’s Poultry Industry

by 5m Editor
12 July 2012, at 9:26am

UGANDA - Local chicken dealers are losing ground on sales due to the continued entry of cheap imports from Brazil, South Africa and Europe.

The findings are contained in a report to President Museveni, which indicates that about 45 per cent of dressed chicken sold on the Uganda market is imported, majorly from Brazil. The report indicates that between 2011 to date, about 728,000 kilogrammes of dressed chicken entered Uganda as imports. Ugandans consume about 30,000 kilogrammes of dressed chicken every week.

Speaking to Daily Monitor, the chairman of the Ugandan Poultry Farmers Association, Mr Godfrey Okoth-Ochola, said the trend has been rising, steered by cheap imports from other countries. “The imports are cheap; they are almost Shs1,500 lower than those produced locally.”

Whereas locally dressed chicken are sold between Shs8,000 and Shs10,000 per kilogramme, the imported ones sell for as low as Shs6,500. The low pricing is attributed to the low cost of business and highly mechanised systems in countries like Brazil compared to Uganda’s rudimentary methods. However, the Ministry of Trade says there is need to understand why the chicken imported from Brazil is cheap compared to local products.

According to the commissioner of external trade in the ministry, Mr Silver Ojakol, Uganda has put in place countervailing measures to protect local producers against cheap imports. “We have measure to protect local producers and if it is established that the allegations are true, then the ministry will take action.”

Ms Sylvia Kirabo, the Uganda National Bureau of Standards publicist, told Daily Monitor the agency had been so keen on the sector meeting standards, which pits fair competition between the local produces and the imported ones.

Uganda produces about 60,000 kilogrammes of chicken every week, some of which is exported to South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda and DRC. Between 2008 and 2010 70 per cent of the chicken which was consumed in South Sudan was from Uganda; however the market has since shrank.