Kenya steps up measures to ensure safety of maize imports

0
71
KERICHO, KENYA - 2020/07/17: Maize (corn) harvested in Kericho County, Kenya, some 280 Kilometres west of the capital. Maize is a staple food in majority of Kenyan families. (Photo by Billy Mutai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Kenya on Tuesday said it had put in place measures to facilitate safe trade of maize and other related food commodities from across its borders.

FILE PHOTO: Maize (corn) harvested in Kericho County, Kenya, some 280 Kilometres west of the capital. (Photo by Billy Mutai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The east African nation stopped importation of maize from Uganda and Tanzania in early March due to safety concerns. Peter Munya, cabinet secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives said the ministry has increased surveillance on maize imports from the East Africa region in order to address safety concerns.

Munya told journalists in Nairobi that all dealers of food crops including the transporters, importers and processors will be registered as fresh in new measures to ensure safety of maize imports.

He said that successful applicants shall be notified on the need to apply for pre shipment documents stating the source of produce, purpose and destination including the storage facility where the produce shall be offloaded.

The official said that security agencies will crack down on corrupt practices by government officers at the border who are accepting bribes in exchange for maize entry approval stamps without inspection and verification.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture’s data, Kenya imported about 277,350 tons of maize in 2020. About 95 percent of this came from Uganda and Tanzania. This year, it was estimated that the country would need to import similar amounts to be food secure.

Leave a Reply