Inside Politics

Maize imports decreased by 77pc in March after ban

Monday, May 3rd, 2021 00:00 |
Maize stock. Photo/File

Maize imports into the country decreased by 76.9 per cent in the month of March almost 3o days after Government banned imports from the region, a new food report reveals.

The March Food and Nutrition Security Report says imported maize  decreased to 146,707 of 90 kilogramms bags compared to 637,489 bags imported in February 2021.

“The decrease is attributed to Kenya’s policy change on increased surveillance and restriction of importation of high-level Aflatoxin maize from Uganda and Tanzania. Beans and rice imports increased slightly during the reporting period,” said Agriculture Principal Prof Hamadi Boga.

In early March Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) acting director general Kello Harsama issued a notice to stop any further imports of the maize into Kenya with immediate effect from Uganda and Tanzania on high levels of mycotoxins.

The country imported 83, 816 bags of 90 kg, the lowest since ever for the last 13 months.

Millers and traders are complaining that local farmers are hoarding maize in anticipation of higher prices other than what is being offered in the market at the moment.

Tegemeo Institute senior researcher Timothy Njagi in a phone interview stated that farmer are justified to continue hoarding maize as no player is willing to offer prices they want.

“Though, there is high risk of the maize being affected by aflatoxin or stolen, “said Njagi.

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