Treasury clears importation of six million bags of maize
The government has finally sanctioned importation of six million bags of white non-genetically modified maize into the country to avert the looming food crisis as maize granaries almost run dry.
National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani on Friday in a gazette notice permitted food value chains to import into the country 540,000 tonnes of non-GMO white maize by the first week of August.
Equivalent to six million bags of 90kg, the maize will be imported from outside the East African Community (EAC), as the other states in the region are equally suffering the same fate as Kenya with decreasing maize stocks due to the effects of the prolonged drought.
“A waiver of import duty has been granted for the importation of not more than 540,000 tonnes of white non-genetically-modified organism (non-GMO) maize grain,” said Yatani in the gazette notice.
He added, the waiver of import duty shall apply to white non-GMO maize imported into Kenya on or before August 6, and each consignment thereof shall comply with highlighted conditions.
Kenya largely imports non-GMO maize from Mexico which can take at least 45 days to dock at Mombasa port. Yatani said that the approval follows notification of an impending maize crisis in the country recently by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya.
Munya had a week ago said in the next few months the country will run out of available stocks leading to hard times for Kenyans.