Commodities

Millers fault maize imports ban

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The National Cereals and Produce Board, Nakuru depot. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Millers have faulted the government over a blanket ban on maize imports from Uganda and Tanzania, arguing it will likely cause an increase in the price of flour.
  • The processors said that the State should only intercept maize that has high levels of aflatoxin and allow the grain that meets the set standards to come into the country.

Millers have faulted the government over a blanket ban on maize imports from Uganda and Tanzania, arguing it will likely cause an increase in the price of flour.

The processors said that the State should only intercept maize that has high levels of aflatoxin and allow the grain that meets the set standards to come into the country.

Kenya on Friday banned all imports of maize coming in from Uganda and Tanzania citing high level of aflatoxins. The country allows aflatoxin levels of up to 10 parts per billion.

“There should not have been blanket ban on maize from our neighbours. If aflatoxin is the issue, then we need to increase surveillance at border points and not allow affected maize to pass through,” said Rajan Shah, chief executive officer of Capwel Industries.

Mr Rajan said the country has net deficit of maize and has been importing from the neighbouring countries to supplement available stocks.

Maize imports from Uganda rose five-fold to 523,000 bags in January compared with the same period last year as traders and millers rushed to bring in the produce in anticipation of a shortage.

The Food Crops Directorate had given an early warning to Uganda in regard to enforcing tighter aflatoxin checks.

Head of the directorate Leonard Kubok, in an interview last year said traders would be required to show a certificate from a competent authority showing that the grain from Uganda is free from the cancer-causing toxins.