Treasury clears duty free maize imports

Treasury clears duty free maize imports

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani has cleared the importation of 540,000 tons of maize from outside the East African Community (EAC) to deal with the looming local shortage.

The waiver of duty for the maize import granted through a new gazette notice is expected to cover white non-genetically modified (GMO) maize imported into Kenya on or before August 6.

The clearance of the imports by the exchequer follows a notification by the Ministry of Agriculture of an impending maize crisis in the country.

Earlier this month, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said the imports would provide consumers with reprieve in the cost of unga while forcing farmers hoarding maize produce to release it to market with the cost of maize now set to trickle down on replenished supplies.

The expected imports are expected to be the first since 2017 when the country faced yet another supply crisis from reduced productivity.

Kenya could not fill its maize supply deficit from EAC peers as they too face gaps from truncated productivity, a matter attributed to reduced rainfall across the region in the past year.

The impending maize imports will be required to meet key standards including a moisture content not exceeding 13.5 per cent and aflatoxin levels not exceeding 10 parts per billion.

Imported maize is expected to be accompanied by a certificate of conformity issued by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and should meet other legal requirements.

The imports are expected to taper down the cost of maize flour or unga in the country which has presently shot up to an average of more than Ksh.140 for a two-kilo packet.


maize imports cost of living unga

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