Kenya has lifted the ban on imports of Ugandan and Tanzanian maize with strict conditions on exporters as the country seeks to curb shipping in of the cancer-causing aflatoxin on the imported crop.
Ministry of Agriculture said on Wednesday that all stakeholders dealing in maize imports would be required to be registered, the consignments coming in must be accompanied with a certificate of conformity on aflatoxin levels and that traders have to issue details of their warehouses.
The certificate of conformity should indicate that the aflatoxin levels comply with the maximum required levels of 10 parts per billion.
In a statement read by Agriculture Chief Administrative Secretary Lawrence Angolo, Kenya said the move is aimed at addressing the safety of consumers and that the country will not compromise on that.
Mr Angolo said the details on the warehouse would help in ensuring that the maize supplied to Kenya adhered to all standard procedures on food handling and that it was not dried on roads (tarmac).
“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,” said Mr Angolo.
The ministry urged the regional countries to fast track ratification of EAC- SGS standards on aflatoxin and submit the instruments of certification to the EAC.
Traders importing maize from Uganda to Kenya will be required to also have a certificate of origin from the counties of produce before they get clearance at the border points.
Kenya last week banned maize imports from Uganda citing high levels of aflatoxin in the grain, setting the stage for a trade war between the two neighbouring states.
Millers this week faulted the government over a blanket ban on maize imports from Uganda and Tanzania arguing the move will have a serious implication on the price of flour.
The processors argued that the State should have only intercepted the maize that has high-level aflatoxin and allow the one that meets the set standards to be exported to the country.