Govt Sets Conditions for Millers Importing Duty-Free Maize, Rice

  • The government has granted millers and traders a duty-free window to import white maize and rice to bridge the gap between the supply and the country’s demand.

    In a notice published in local dailies on Thursday, December 15, Agriculture Principal Secretary (PS) Phillip Harsama announced that the ministry capped maize importation at 900,000 metric tonnes.

    Harsama disclosed that traders will also be allowed to import up to 600,00 tonnes of rice. However, all imports must be done by August 6, 2023.

    Agriculture PS Phillip

    Agriculture PS Phillip Harsama

    PS Phillip Harsama

    “In consequence of the notification of an impending food crisis in the country, the Ministry of Agriculture has granted the importation to have adequate stocks to last until the next harvest from July-August 2023,” the notice read.


    Millers bringing in maize must adhere to the laws on moisture and aflatoxin contents and must present conformity certificates.

    “Maize shall have moisture content not exceeding 13.5 per cent while aflatoxins shall not exceed 10 parts per billion (ppb) as provided for under Kenyan Law and Standards [KS EAS2:2017],” Harsama stated.

    On the other hand, rice importers must meet ensure that the consignment they ship in is dried, mature and edible grains of the Oryza species.

    In addition, the rice must be clean, wholesome, uniform in size, colour and shape, and free from abnormal flavour, musty, sour, odour, smelly and discolouration.

    “The rice shall be free from micro-organisms and substances originating from fungi or other deleterious substances in amounts that constitute a hazard to human health,” Harsama noted.

    Millers and traders interested in importing the foodstuffs were asked to register with the Ministry.

    All papers must be filed with the Head of Supply Chain Management Services at Kilimo House, fourth flour, before Thursday, December 29. 

    On November 29, the Cabinet resolved to import maize after it confirmed that the country’s supply of 30 million bags was short of the 45 million bags annual demand to sustain the nation.

    Bags of maize at an NCPB depot.

    Bags of maize at an NCPB depot.

Jay Ndungu

Jay is a computer scientist and journalist with a passion for the intersection of technology and society. He has a background in computer science, developing a deep understanding of the technical aspects of the industry, including programming languages and software development methodologies. Currently, He writes for Nairobi Times, covering a wide range of topics including technology, politics, sports, and entertainment. With his unique combination of technical knowledge and journalistic experience, Jay brings a unique perspective to the stories he covers, able to explain complex technical concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. His work is dedicated to bridge the gap between technology and society, and to make people more aware of the potential of technology to make the world a better place.

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