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Millers resold duty-free maize to NCPB

MUSYOKI

KRA commissioner customs and border control Julius Musyoki before Senate on September 19, 2018. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE

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Summary

  • Mr Julius Musyoki, the KRA commissioner in charge of customs and border control told a special inquiry committee of the Senate that the traders may have made a kill after they sold a large bulk of the imported consignment to NCPB.
  • He said the Ministry of Agriculture, through the NCPB, bought 650,191 metric tonnes of maize from the importers between May and October last year.
  • About 10 firms which brought in maize from the East African Community( EAC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and other neighbouring countries may have taken advantage to supply maize to NCPB at the expense of local farmers.

Maize milling companies that imported the grain during the duty-free window in 2017 irregularly sold stocks meant for their plants to the National Cereals and Produce Board(NCPB), Parliament heard on Wednesday.

Mr Julius Musyoki, the Kenya Revenue Authority(KRA) commissioner in charge of customs and border control told a special inquiry committee of the Senate that the traders may have made a kill after they sold a large bulk of the imported consignment to NCPB.

He said the Ministry of Agriculture, through the NCPB, bought 650,191 metric tonnes of maize from the importers between May and October last year.

The KRA said the importers brought in a total of 1,734,487 metric tonnes of maize during the window as outlined in the gazette notice published on April 13, 2017.

The importation period was to run from May to August 31 but was extended to September and latter December 31, 2017.

Mr Musyoki said 86 per cent (1,491,659 metric tonnes) of white maize was imported before the July 31, deadline. During the same period, KRA official data shows that 2,42,828 metric tonnes of yellow maize was shipped into the country.

“From KRA’s correspondence with the different importers and the NCPB, it was established that most of the maize that was imported by different importers was sold to the Ministry of Agriculture and handled through NCPB,” Mr Musyoki said.

About 10 firms which brought in maize from the East African Community( EAC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and other neighbouring countries may have taken advantage to supply maize to NCPB at the expense of local farmers.

The Ad-hoc committee inquiring into the maize crisis in the country and which was chaired by Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula heard that the bulk of imported white maize came from Mexico, South Africa and the US.

According to data tabled by Mr Musyoki, 1,398,095 metric tonnes was imported from Mexico, 248,957 metric tonnes from South Africa and 7,166 metric tonnes from the US.

Kenya also shipped in maize from Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Mozambique.