EDITORIAL

Tanzania can market its maize flour in our shops

In Summary

• Kenyan millers will not want to distribute maize flour already processed.

• East Africa is supposed to be a common market with free movement of goods and labour.

Packets of maize flour in a Supermarket shelf.
Packets of maize flour in a Supermarket shelf.
Image: FILE

The Tanzania government has refused to allow the export of unmilled maize to Kenya but says it will permit the export of maize flour.

This proposal is a non-starter. The Kenya government needs to import a million bags per month of maize because we consume more maize than we produce.

However, Kenya millers do not want to buy flour. They want to buy maize grains to process themselves.

The millers will not put this Tanzanian maize flour on the shelves of Kenyan shops because they will have been cut out of the supply chain.

This ban on the export of maize grains will only hurt the Tanzanian farmer because Kenya is now likely to buy its maize from South Africa or Mexico.

East Africa is supposed to be a common market with free movement of goods and labour. There is nothing to stop a Tanzanian company or parastatal from exporting its own packaged maize flour to compete with Pembe and Jogoo in Kenya.

Let Tanzania compete on price and quality by organising to sell its branded flour in Kenyan shops. That is the way forward.

Quote of the day: "Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied."

Otto von Bismarck
The German Chancellor died on July 30, 1898