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Traders Lose Shs5bn In 3 Days After Kenya’s Maize Import Ban

Hundreds of bags of maize packed in warehouse

Ugandan produce dealers have lost Shillings 5billion in the last three days following the ban on maize exports to Kenya. According to the produce dealers, the Kenyan government has so far returned over 70,000 metric tons of maize they had exported to the neighbouring country.

The returned maize is now stored at the Namaubi produce warehouse in Dabani sub-county, Mayombe parking yard maize store and others are in stores in Busia produce market. The traders say they have run out of space to keep that maize since they expect hundreds of trucks that had crossed to Kenya to return with the maize to Busia town because of the ban.

On March 5, 2021, the Kenyan government through the Agriculture and Food Authority under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives banned the importation of maize from Uganda citing high level of Mycotoxins-beyond the safety limit.

“The authorities have been conducting surveillance on the safety of food imports into Kenya. Test results from maize imported from Uganda and Kenya have revealed a high level of Mycotoxins that are beyond the safety limit,” read the letter.

Muhammad Zubair, one of the producer dealers, says that the Kenyan authorities returned 90,000 tons of maize worth Shillings 50 million he had transported to Kenya. He expressed concern that the maize might rot in the stores since they do not have clients.

Samuel Wakul, another trader says that he exported 15,000 tons of maize worth Shillings 70 million but it has been returned. He says most of the maize is still loaded on trucks due to lack of space to store it and keep its moisture content. 

James Kamat, a Kenyan driver is stranded with over 300 bags of maize he had loaded on his truck destined for Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. He told URN that he has spent six days in Busia town and is only waiting for his boss to send him fuel money to return home.  

Busia Resident District Commissioner, John Relx Achira, says the situation is alarming because the business community is frustrated with the current situation. Achira says that the Shillings 5billion loss in the last three days is a big blow to the development of the country and a security threat since many youths who have been working in produce are likely to end up in criminal activities. 

Bakhali Magemeso, the Secretary Busia Produce Dealer’s Cooperative, says following the ban on the importation by the Kenyan government they have also suspended buying maize from local farmers until the situation normalizes.


One thought on “Traders Lose Shs5bn In 3 Days After Kenya’s Maize Import Ban

  1. Aryatunga Gedion

    This is very bad for the East African common market. I think procedures must be put in place before total ban is conducted so as to prevent beggar my neighbour policies in the region

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