Recently, Ugandan maize traders met with the new tougher requirements for Kenya’s imports from Uganda. These are meant to prevent the influx of grain with high levels of aflatoxin.
Kenya’s Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said so far, traders are yet to conform to the laid down guidelines.
This means that there have been no imports from Uganda for nearly a month since Kenya introduced the new conditions.
“We have tightened the controls on what is coming in from our neighbours, and so far none of the traders has met the conditions,” said Mr Munya.
Kenya had early last month banned all imports of maize from Uganda and Tanzania citing high level of aflatoxins that are beyond the allowable limits by Kenya’s standards.
The country caps it’s maximum allowable level at 10 parts per billion.
However, the directive was rescinded with Nairobi instead imposing strict conditions for traders to meet before they are allowed to import.
They include registration of all traders by the authority and issuing the details of the warehouse where they stored the produce.
The new directives also require traders importing maize from Uganda to Kenya to have a certificate of origin. This is basically from the counties of produce before they get clearance at the border points.
The government also required traders to have a certificate of conformity. This is to indicate if the aflatoxin levels comply with the set standard.
Tanzanian and Ugandan maize started hitting the Kenyan market in February before the government ban.
Kenya’s maize imports from Uganda rose fivefold in January when compared with the same period last year. Traders and millers rushed to bring in the produce in anticipation of a shortage in the coming months.
Data from the Ministry of Agriculture indicated the volume of maize brought in the country went up to 523,000 bags in the review period from 101,000 in January 2020.
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