Kenya faces a shortage of maize flour

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Kenyans will be forced to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for the maize flour should the government fail to ease measures on maize imports from Tanzania and Uganda.

The Cereal Millers Association (CMA) has announced that the price of maize flour is expected to increase due to the shortage of maize occasioned by the ban.

The CMA took a swipe at the government and regulatory agencies for lack of communication and coordination concerning the matter.

Maize
Maize

According to the association, Kenyans consume 3 million 90kg bags per month, and some of the maize must be imported due to differences in harvesting seasons across the country.

“The CMA welcomes the ban on maize that contains aflatoxin levels above the 10 parts per billion (ppb) threshold but is requesting the government to allow maize that does not breach this level be allowed to avoid a grain shortage,” noted the association.

Kenya in early March banned maize imports from Uganda and Tanzania, citing high levels of aflatoxin in the grain.

However, the ban was lifted a week later with strict conditions on importers following complaints from millers.

Traders must be registered and must provide the details of their warehouses. Grains coming in must be accompanied with a certificate of conformity on aflatoxin levels with the maximum required levels of 10 parts per billion.

All stakeholders dealing in maize must also have a certificate of origin from the production countries before getting clearance at the border points.

CMA wants the government to establish a joint task force to ensure full coordination and communication of the maize restriction.

It suggests that the interim destination inspections at the border point avoid delays and the suspension of the Certificates of Conformity until the processes are seamless.

CMA further wants the government to operate porous border points and release good quality maize held by traders and farmers within the country to be released to the millers to ensure a constant supply of maize flour.

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