The Government says the recent stoppage of unsafe maize was necessitated by continuous surveillance on the safety of food imports to Kenya, where test results for maize imported from Uganda and Tanzania revealed high levels of mycotoxins consistently beyond safety limits.
In a statement Tuesday, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Agriculture Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives Peter Munya further averted fear over alleged shortage of maize in the country saying projections up to the end of May 2021 indicate a surplus of 11,807,681 90kg bags, with the price of maize expected to remain stable.
” Currently, the wholesale maize price is averaging KES 2,600/= per 90 kg bag, with the highest prices of up to KES 4,392/= reported in Garissa county and the lowest prices of KES 1,980/= in Laikipia county.’ He said.
The CS said that following the Government directive on stoppage of maize transfers from EAC partner countries, unscrupulous businessmen have tried to sneak in maize through non- gazetted border points.
“The law enforcement agencies have so far, napped 39 lorries ferrying maize from Uganda. 25 lorries are being held at Busia police station while 14 are at Adungosi, as the Ministry, through its Agriculture and Food Authority heightens surveillance along all border points. A stern warning has been issued against culprits contravening the government directive, and traders found culpable will be arrested and charged in the Kenyan Court of Law.’ He added
He noted that the government has taken several measures to facilitate safe trade of maize and other related food commodities across the East African Community (EAC).
First, he says they have commenced registration of all dealers of food crops including the transporters, importers and processors as per the requirements of section 16 of the Crops Act, 2013 where applicants will be vetted and approval granted through issuance of a Registration Certificate.
“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.” Munya said
The Government will also require its EAC Partner States to issue Certificates of Conformity (CoC) to all Kenya-bound consignments.
“These CoCs shall be issued by a Competent Authority from the exporting country processed through the KENTRADE single window system to be verified and approved by the crops inspectors. Additionally, random sampling shall be done at the border points with rapid testing to confirm that the grain is as per the conformity certificate issued by the exporting country.’ Added Munya
He empahised that the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) and DCI were on high alert to deal with any corrupt officers and/or traders at border points who shall engage in corrupt practices in exchange for maize entry approval stamps without inspection and verification.
“AFA is working in collaboration with the regulators and other Competent Authorities from the exporting countries to provide guidelines on how to meet the relevant EAC standards.” Noted Munya