FOOD IMPORTS

Let EAC supply maize to Kenya

In Summary

• Government has licenced the importation of 540,000 tonnes of white maize by August 6.

• New rules block the official import of maize from Tanzania and Uganda

Maize in a warehouse.
Maize in a warehouse.
Image: FILE

Government has licenced the import of 540,000 tonnes of duty-free white non-GMO maize (see P11) before August 6.

This is a windfall for whoever gets the licence as maize can be purchased from countries like Brazil for around $150 (Sh17,473) per tonne.

The deadline of August 6 is barely two months away. That is not enough time to source a supplier, set up an LC, have the maize inspected, book space on a ship and then have the ship sail for at least 45 days to reach Mombasa. Someone has already arranged this maize shipment.

Ironically Kenya is working hard to block maize imports from Tanzania and Uganda.

Last year Kenya imported 500,000 bags from Uganda but new non-tariff trade barriers, referring to aflatoxin and origin, effectively block the import of East Africa maize into Kenya.

But Kenya maize is no better than maize from Tanzania or Uganda. There are presently global shortages of maize and other foodstuffs. It is time for Kenya to stop blocking the import of maize and other foods from East Africa. This will boost the single market and lower prices for consumers.

Quote of the day: "To live outside the law, you must be honest."

Bob Dylan
The American singer-songwriter was born on May 24, 1941

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