Rwanda is an emerging market for poultry products in the East African Region as the country is buying more day-old chicks and chicken meat, statistics from Ugachick, a leading poultry breeder in Uganda show.
The increasing demand for poultry has been bolstered by a recent lifting of a ban on the importation of poultry products by the government of Rwanda.
The ban was lifted after veterinary and health authorities found out that there was no bird flu threat in Uganda.
Initially, Ugandan poultry farmers were doing a lot of business in Rwanda until the outbreak of the avian bird flu, which resulted in a ban on poultry imports and exports to curtail spreading the disease further.
The Rwanda ban, according to Uganda farmers, was also hampering access to the big markets in Eastern DR Congo and Burundi since exports to these two countries have to transit through Rwanda.
But with the lifting of the ban, the statistics show that Ugachick exports about 5,000 day-old chicks and 2,000 pieces of chicken weekly to Rwanda.
Ugachick Marketing Manager Immaculate Ngulumi said when the ban was lifted in March, Ugachick resumed business by exporting 4,000 chicks and 500 chicken but the number has steadily increased since then.
She noted that the market has since stabilized as a result of easy operations at the Rwandan border and increased demand for the poultry products.
“Ever since the ban was lifted everything is running smoothly. It is so easy to get transit permits at the Rwandan border and the taxes are minimal because we have the East African Community trade certificate and this simplifies everything,” Ngulumi said in an interview with The New Times.
Rwanda is also a transit country for Ugachick products to Eastern Congo and Burundi. A dozen of day old chicks costs Shs100,000 (Frw33,763) while chicken meat costs Shs8,000 (Frw2,701) at Ugachick.
“We have not found any problems in transporting our products because they comply with the set standards by the government. We only had problems transporting our products to Kenya but now the problem has also been solved,” she added.
Last week bilateral trade negotiations on Uganda’s poultry exports to Kenya stalled following Kenya’s failure to present the full risk assessment report on a study carried out by Kenyan veterinary services on hygiene of Ugandan products.
Despite lifting of the ban on Ugandan products two years ago, Ugandan traders have not been able to export their products to Kenya.