By Markson Omagor
Kenya has responded to regional pressure by lifting a ban it imposed on import of maize from Uganda and Tanzania last week.
This is a relief to Ugandan farmers, traders and Government though the lifting of the ban has been accompanied with strict conditions.
On March 5, the Kenyan government imposed a ban on imported maize, saying that they were seeking to stop cancer-causing aflatoxin on imported crop.
It lifted the ban on March 10, pointing out that they were lifting the ban with strict conditions.
One of the conditions is that all stakeholders dealing in maize imports would be required to be registered, the consignments coming in must be accompanied with certificate of conformity on aflatoxin levels and that traders have to issue details of their warehouses.
In a statement, the certificate of conformity should indicate that the aflatoxin levels comply with the maximum required levels of 10 parts per billion.
The Kenya’s Agriculture Chief Administrative Secretary Lawrence Angolo, said they were aiming at protecting consumers of maize and that they will not be compromised on that.
“While we strive to give Kenya safe food by addressing the challenge in productions system, we equally expect our trading partners to trade safe maize as per the East African community standards,” said Angolo.
The Minister also appealed to the partner states of the East African Community (EAC) to fast track ratification of EAC- SGS standards on aflatoxin and submit the instruments of certification to the EAC.