Dar es Salaam. The government has said talks are underway with the Kenyan government over a maize ban which took effect over the weekend.
The ban of maize imports from Tanzania was put in place by Kenya’s Agriculture and Food Authority claiming that maize from Tanzania and Uganda contain aflatoxins which renders it unsafe for human consumption.
Speaking in Dodoma on March 8, the government spokesperson Dr Hassan Abbas said so far there is no official statement on the ban of maize from Tanzania sold in Kenya apart from circular that was circulating on the social media over the weekend.
“It is true that Tanzanian maize has been banned at the Namanga border but the Hororo border is has continued accepting the maize and that is why as government must talk and find solutions,” he said.
He said the issue is being worked on and talks are ongoing between the two countries. “Why is the Hororo border trade flowing and not Namanga ?” asked Dr Abbas.
On March 5, in a letter by the acting Director-General of the Agriculture and Food Authority, Kello Harsama to Pamela Ahago, the Commissioner of Customs in the Kenya Revenue Authority, the imports should stop after a survey conducted indicated maize from the two neighbouring countries is not fit for human consumption.
“We wish to bring to your attention that Agriculture and Food Authority has stopped any further imports of maize into Kenya with immediate effect,” reads the letter, adding “The Republic of Kenya is however committed to facilitating safe trade with her trading partners and look forward to working closely with all stakeholders to address the concern.”
Long queues of trucks were on Saturday seen at the Namanga border after the Kenya Revenue authority reportedly denied the trucks entry into Kenya