Tanzania responds after Kenya’s maize imports ban

Tanzania Maize
A maize depot in Kenya. [Photo: Star]

Tanzania has reacted to a maize import ban by Kenya’s Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA).

Through the Agriculture Assistant Minister Hussein Bashe, Tanzania said that every bag of maize being imported to Kenya is certified meaning it is fit for consumption.

Bashe on Tuesday said that it was a shocker learning from the media of the ban because AFA did not follow the right protocols in communicating this change.

“As a country, we have not received any official communication from the Kenyan government. They have only issued a notice on their side of the border to stop our maize trucks from crossing into their side,” Bashe said.

He added that it was unbecoming of Kenya to issue Tanzania with a non-compliance certificate.

In its notice directed to addressed to KRA’s Commissioner of Customs, AFA said that it is has conducted an extensive survey on the level of safety for all consumable imports and realized that maize from Tanzania and Uganda where it found mycotoxins.

They are a result of moulds which form due to poor storage.

“The authority has been conducting surveillance in the safety of food imports into Kenya. The results from maize imported from Uganda and Tanzania have revealed high levels of mycotoxins that are consistently beyond safety limits,” AFA acting Director-General Kelli Harsama stated.

Since the directive was issued over the weekend, trucks from Tanzania and Uganda full of maize have remained stranded at the border points.

The operators are pleading with the Kenyan government to allow them deliver the loads arguing that the order came out when they were en route to Kenya.