Kenya lifts maize import ban on Tanzania and Uganda under strict conditions*
We have reported earlier how Kenya sparked rumors of trade dispute within the East African Economic Bloc (EAC) following its decision to ban the importation of maize from two of its neighbouring countries, Uganda and Tanzania.
The authorities of the country justified their decision with a supposed research which found a high level of mycotoxins in imported maize from the two countries. Ms. Harsama, acting Director-General of the Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement that, “test results for maize imported from Uganda and Tanzania have revealed high levels of mycotoxins that are consistently beyond safety limits.”
This decision was criticized by the East African Economic Bloc which raised concerns of unilateral decision by Kenya; tagging the move as one with potentials to attract reciprocal actions from the affected countries.
The latest development on this issue is that, the controversial ban has been lifted by Kenya. However, the relief came with relatively stricter conditions that must be adhered to by traders and other stakeholder. According to the new arrangements as reported by Business Daily, the Ministry now requires registration of stakeholders dealing in maize imports from these countries.
Secondly, the consignment is also expected to be accompanied with a certificate indicating standard aflatoxin levels of maximum of 10 parts per billion. In addition, all traders must also state country of origin before clearance is given at the border. They are also required to provide details of their warehouses.
Lawrence Angolo Chief Administrative Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture assured Kenyans of the efforts by his outfit to the safety of Kenyans and also urged their neighbors to trade within accepted terms of the EAC food.
“While we strive to give Kenya safe food by addressing the challenge in production system, we equally expect our trading partners to trade safe maize as per the East African Community (EAC) standards.” He said.