Maize prices in the county are set to soar over the importation ban from Uganda and Tanzania, the Cereal Millers Association (CMA) has revealed.
Speaking on Monday, the association said the “unclarity” in regards to the recent ban of maize from Uganda and Tanzania will result in grain shortage hence increased maize flour prices.
“The CMA welcomes the ban on maize that contains aflatoxin levels above the 10 parts per billion (ppb) threshold but is requesting the government to allow maize that does not breach this level be allowed to avoid a grain shortage,” the association said.
The association further called for an immediate consultation on the same to avert a crisis.
“As an association, we are open to further consultations that will benefit all the stakeholders. Let us work together and avert a crisis,” the statement adds.
Last month, the government, with immediate effect stopped the importation of maize from Uganda and Tanzania over high levels of aflatoxin.
Through a letter dated March 5, 2020, signed by the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) acting director-general, Kello Harsana, it was revealed that the maize imported from the aforementioned countries contained high levels of mycotoxins which were consistently beyond the limits of 10 parts per billion (ppb).
“We wish to bring to your attention that AFA has stopped any further imports of maize into Kenya with immediate effect. The republic of Kenya is however committed to facilitating safe trade with her trading partners and look forward to working closely with all stakeholders to address the concern,” Harsana said.
The lift was however lifted, with strict rules to importers. In the new regulations, all maize importers will have to be registered with the government and also make open the details of their warehouses.
Also, maize imports coming in must be accompanied with a certificate of conformity on aflatoxin levels.
“While we strive to give Kenya safe food by addressing the challenge in the production system, we equally expect our trading partners to trade safe maize as per the East African Community (EAC) standards,” said Agriculture Chief Administrative Secretary Lawrence Angolo.
Traders will also be required to have a certificate of origin from the counties of produce before they get clearance at the border points.
According to Angolo, the measures are meant to ensure that maize imported into the country does not contain cancer-causing aflatoxin.
Maize imported into the country should not exceed standard aflatoxin levels, which should be a maximum of 10 parts per billion.