Tanzania opens market to Uganda’s sugar, agricultural produce

26Dec 2018
By Financial Times Reporter
Dar es Salaam
Financial Times
Tanzania opens market to Uganda’s sugar, agricultural produce

The Tanzania government has agreed to give clearance to businessmen exporting agricultural produce and sugar from Uganda.
The agreement was reached last week in a meeting between the Minister of Trade for Uganda Amelia Kyambadde and Joseph Kakunda, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment ..

Minister of Trade for Uganda, Amelia Kyambadde (left) and Joseph Kakunda, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment of Tanzania held last week at Mutukula One Stop Border Post Uganda side.

of Tanzania held at Mutukula One Stop Border Post Uganda side.

Last month, Ugandan traders at Mutukula border demonstrated over a restriction imposed by Tanzania on Uganda’s dry products intended for export to Tanzania.

“Traders protested the ban on Ugandan produce exports like maize and beans by the Tanzania government. The restriction was due to the denial of import permits by the Tanzanian Government to the Tanzanian importers,” Ministry of Trade said in a press statement.

“After [yesterday’s] meeting, the Tanzanian Government agreed to grant import permits to the importers immediately to enable them buy produce from Ugandan traders,” it further said.

Early this year, Tanzania government blocked export of Uganda’s sugar. This was after allegations emerged that Uganda imports sugar and it was repackaged and re-exported within the region.

A joint verification mission between Tanzania and Uganda was conducted from the 26th November to 1st December 2018. It revealed that Ugandan sugar Millers do not import sugar.

Ugandan sugar
It was also noted that most of the sugar imported into Uganda is sugar for industrial use while some of the imported sugar is re-exported.

“It was recommended that the Sugar wholly produced in Uganda, should be accorded EAC preferential treatment. United Republic of Tanzania agreed to grant Uganda’s sugar priority and preferential market access,” the statement says.

A different joint verification was undertaken by Uganda and Tanzania in Uganda revealed that sunflower, soya and palm edible oils are not meeting East African Community Rules of Origin criteria. And hence, they won’t be cleared for export.

“It was found that sunflower and soya edible oils meet the criteria and Tanzania promised to grant preferential market access before the end of 2018. It was found that palm oil does not meet the EAC Rules of Origin criteria,” Trade Ministry says.

Uganda is running a negative trade balance with Tanzania. Uganda’s exports to Tanzania registered a positive trend from $56 million in 2014 to $68.8million in 2016 before declining to $49.8million in 2017.

Similarly, Uganda’s imports from Tanzania have increased from $75.7 million to $91.7 million in the same period. (The Independent )