Maize traders in the importing sector remain stranded at the Uganda border due to the import maize ban released without notice. As a result, maize flour prices might increase if the issue does not get a lasting solution. The bone of contention appears that the letter dated 5th March 2021 drafted by The Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) banning imports from Uganda and also Tanzania. The board cited high levels of micro toxins particularly aflatoxins mostly known to be casino genic.
The affected businessmen now blame border authorities for the mess. In addition to those criticizing the government lies the CMA. The Cereal Millers Association (CMA) criticizes the ban and also terms it as unclear. As per them lack of communication and also coordination between the relevant regulatory agencies and the government is likely to result in an increase in maize flour prices. CMA also stated that on a monthly basis Kenya consumes averagely three million 90 kg bags of maize.
Maize Flour prices likely to increase.
However, not all the maize is available locally due to the varying harvesting periods in our counties. As a result, some of the maize must be imported. The CMA members report that currently, they do not have enough stock that can last. According to them, the stocks cannot ensure an unrestricted supply of maize flour. The members normally account for forty percent of processed flour. Currently, in stock, only 1.5 million bags remain.
For instance, in Nairobi raw grain now costs 2,500 from the previous 2,800. In addition, the board further states that maize flour bale has increased and now costs 1250. Apparently, the price might increase again if they fail to resolve the situation immediately. As a way of helping netizens, CMA proposed some measures;
- Temporarily lift the requirement for Certificates of Conformity until the processes are seamless.
- All the good quality maize being held by farmers and traders within Kenya’s borders to be released to available millers. This is to ensure that the supply of maize flour won’t be affected at this time.
- Inspection must be done at the interim destination so that all clean maize gets clearance.
- Manning of the porous border points.