President Yoweri Museveni has vowed to ban the importation of animal feeds into the country.
Museveni issued the warning while addressing his party’s delegates conference that was held virtually from State House Entebbe with satellite locations in different districts across the country.
The move is undoubtedly a victory for The Sunrise, thanks to our exclusive reporting last year on the losses suffered by local farmers and the economy at large, arising from the huge adoption of imported animal feeds mostly from the developed European countries like The Netherlands and Belgium.
In our December 9, 2019 article titled: Why Uganda is losing billions in imported poultry feeds, The Sunrise revealed that Uganda was losing about US$18m (About UGX66bn) annually in imported premixes (ingredients used in preparing animal feeds).
Basing on research we did from data that was provided by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), we revealed that spending on imported concentrates had more than tripled between 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years from US$6 million to US$17.7m.
We argued that Ugandan farmers could very well tap into this growing demand by producing more soy and maize, the dominant ingredients used in concentrates, if only the government offered a supportive policy environment such as the one that the president is proposing.
The Sunrise also takes pride in the fact that President Museveni in his recent pronouncements, promised to reverse the importation of starch and industrial sugar, thanks to our report that showed that Uganda was spending more money on food item imports than what we earn from food exports.
In our September 20, 2019 article titled; The ‘Shameful’ Trend of Uganda Importing food, we showed that Uganda spent US$591 million (About UGX2.158 trillion) on food imports in 2017/18 financial year, compared to US$538 she earned from the food exports.
A huge chunk of this foreign exchange haemorrhage was due to manufacturers importing starch and industrial sugar, much of which can be produced locally, but had come on the government’s radar as an important issue until we exposed the truth.
President Museveni has promised to address this loss of revenue by supporting sugar companies to produce industrial-grade sugar, while also put efforts on production of starch.