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March 22, 2018

Kenya to import 100,000 tonnes of maize from Zambia

Kenya Seed Company CEO Willy Bett speaking during an interview in Eldoret on May 12th.
Kenya Seed Company CEO Willy Bett speaking during an interview in Eldoret on May 12th.

Kenya to import 100,000 metric tonnes of maize from Zambia.

Agriculture CS Willy Bett yesterday said it will now be easy for Kenya to import maize and sugar from Zambia following the south African country’s decision to waive 10 per cent export duty.

“We are targetting 100,000 metric tonnes of maize from Zambia. If this maize arrives by end of August, it will be included in the ongoing subsidy programme,” he said.

Zambia also lifted a ban it imposed in September last year as part of a food security measure following the prolonged drought in most parts of the region.

He said that the decision by the Zambian government will have positive effect to the current maize and sugar shortage in the country.

“We welcome the decision to lift the export ban as well as removing the 10 percent export duty and thus our private sector players will find it easy to import the basic commodities that have been lacking in the local market in the recent past,” Bett stated.

He was speaking yesterday at Kilomo house when he met with his Zambian counterpart to sign a bilateral agreement on trade between the two countries.

Zambia agriculture minister Dora Siliya who was accompanied by her finance counterpart Felix Mutati said Zambia produced 3.6 million mt in 2016/2017 and had a surplus of over 500,000 bags from the previous harvesting season.

She added that after consumption, the country is currently enjoying a surplus of 1.4 million mt of bags.

Siliya said that Kenya exports 40,000 metric tonnes of sugar every year from Zambia, this is part of the quarter that Kenya is allowed to import from Comes member countries under the window protection arrangement.

“Currently, 16, 000 metric tonnes of sugar have already been imported in Kenya while 14,000 are on the way. The 40,000 we export to Kenya is part of our 200,000 mt sugar exports annually,” she said.

The decision by the Zambian government was agreed after the two governments’ ministers of agriculture, finance and trade met on Monday to discuss among other issues bilateral trade.

Zambia government, Bett said, has committed to dedicate a special lane from Nakonde, Tanzania-Zambia border at to facilitate express clearance for maize and sugar exports to Kenya.

“The two governments agreed to address emerging issues affecting transshipment through other jurisdictions. Further, the government of Kenya committed to engage the Shipping Council of East Africa (SCEA) to facilitate trade between the two countries,” he explained.

He added; “The meeting resolved that the Government of the Republic of Kenya will continue to facilitate the private sector to import sugar from Zambia.”

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