Uganda starts exporting beef to Egypt

In a quest for quality and to meet the ever-increasing demand for beef (1.2 million tons yearly), Egypt has dumped Brazilian meat for Uganda’s high-quality beef, raising hopes of a future where intra-Africa trade is strong.

In March, Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni spoke on the prospect of exporting meat following increased production of livestock and Egypt being Africa’s largest importer of live cattle and beef has proven to be the best market to realise such dream. Two months later, Museveni and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fatah al-Sisi signed a memorandum of understanding covering various fields (electricity, agriculture and industrial zones) to support the establishment of mutual projects aimed at realizing food security for both nations.

This week, Egypt-Uganda Food Security (EUFS), the private beef processing company opened in 2016, exported its first 50-ton shipment of Ugandan beef to the North African country. According to EUFS Chief Executive Officer, Sherif el-Kallini, the East African livestock which has been fed on organic food is better than Brazilian beef.

In 2012 there was a wide outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease which claimed the lives of thousands of cattle across Egypt and put the country’s agricultural sector in jeopardy. Following the outbreak that infected about 100,000 cattle and killed more than 10,000, livestock retail meat prices rose and the country started struggling to produce adequate meat and livestock for its rapidly growing population. The growing trade exchange between Egypt and Uganda has helped the North African country address its meat problem, while increasing import revenue for Uganda.

According to the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC), Egypt took the spotlight in beef import-related activity with purchases worth $138.58 million during the first three months of this year – posting an increase of 193 per cent over Q1 of 2017. Although the figures of beef imports from Uganda to Egypt is yet be determined, Uganda forecasts $50 million in revenue from meat export to both Egypt and Saudi Arabia. This is almost one-third of Egypt-Brazilian beef imports.