Business

Relief as Government Grants Waiver for Maize Imports

The government has granted a waiver of import duty capped at 540,000 metric tonnes of maize allowing cereal traders to import the grain.

This follows a warning by the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya about an impending maize crisis in the country.

In a gazette notice published Friday, May 20, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said the waiver is limited only to white non- genetically-modified organism (non-GMO) maize grain.

“The waiver of import duty shall apply to white non-GMO maize imported into Kenya on or before the 6th August, 2022,” the gazette notice reads.

Yatani, in the same gazette notice further says that each imported consignment will have to comply with other conditions apart from being non-GMO. The grain shall have a moisture content not exceeding 13.5 per cent as provided for under the laws of Kenya.

In addition, the notice states that the aflatoxin levels in each consignment of the staple cereal shall also not exceed ten parts per billion (ppb) in accordance with the laws of Kenya and Kenyan Standards.

Yatani directed that the imported cereal shall be accompanied by a certificate of conformity issued and implemented by the Kenya Bureau of Standards and shall meet all other legal requirements under the relevant laws of Kenya.

Agriculture CS Munya last week said the opening up of the three-month importation window will avert the looming shortage of the cereal and offer a reprieve to consumers even as prices of flour have been going through the roof.

He had also asked farmers who are hoarding the cereal to start selling it and added that the Ministry is carrying out an assessment of the crop that is currently available in the country to be able to guide on importation

Maize flour has recently hit an all-time high in the market with some brands of the two-kilogram packet hitting a high of between Sh134 to Sh140.

Last month experts in the maize sector had warned of a looming maize crisis in the coming months even as high prices of maize started to show.


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