Government set to import 10 million bags of GMO maize

The Government will soon allow a six-month duty free importation of GMO and non-GMO maize targeting to bring in 10 million bags.

Trade and Industry Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria said through a gazette notice the government intends to allow in maize to make Kenya food secure.

The government early last month lifted the decade long ban on importation the open cultivation and importation of GMO food crops and animal feeds.

The decision was taken as part of measures to deal with the long term effects of climate change.

Agricultural organizations have projected that maize harvest this season could drastically be low due to high fertilizer prices early this year that negatively affected the acreage under the maize crop as well as high consumption of green maize from this year’s crop.

To bridge the anticipated shortfall in available maize stocks, the government is zero-rating maize imports.

Under the six-month duty free window, importers will be at liberty to ship in either GMO or non-GMO maize.

This comes amid concerns from critics about the health safety, impact of GMOs on farmer managed systems and a lack of regulations to govern the cultivation of GMO crops.

In Africa, GMO crops are commercially cultivated in eight countries namely South Africa, Sudan, Malawi, Nigeria, Eswatini, Kenya, Ethiopia and Ghana.

  

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