Tanzania Responds to Kenya After Maize Ban

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Tanzania President Pombe Magufuli (right) enjoy a light moment after the former visited the later in Tanzania in July 2019
    President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Tanzania President Pombe Magufuli (right) enjoy a light moment after the former visited the later in Tanzania in July 2019
    PSCU
  • Tanzania has protested Kenya's ban of maize imports saying they would not allow Kenya to destroy the image of their agricultural sector.

    This comes days after Kenya's Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) recommended the immediate ban of maize imported from Tanzania and Uganda on the grounds that it was unfit for human consumption.

    Tanzania’s Assistant Minister for Agriculture, Hussein Bashe, however, defended the quality of maize from Tanzania, saying every batch had a phytosanitary certificate that confirmed it was fit for human consumption before it was exported.

    Isibania Town on the Kenya-Tanzania border.
    Isibania Town on the Kenya-Tanzania border.
    File

    The Tanzanian government also said they expected the government of Kenya to do the right thing and communicate with the Tanzanian government through official channels. 

    They also urged the Kenyan government to provide an explanation saying they had neither been informed of the decision nor received any official communication.

    “As a country, we have not received any official communication from the Kenyan government. They have only issued a notice on their side of the border to stop our maize trucks from crossing into their side,” Tanzania’s Assistant Minister for Agriculture, Hussein Bashe, said. 

    Bashe condemned Kenya saying that the internationally recognized channel is to raise a non-compliance notice when an importing country notices the food does not meet set standards.

    “Ever since we began trading with Kenya, we have never been served a non-compliance notice,” he added.

    AFA's move was in an effort to work towards protecting Kenyans from poisonous mycotoxins, which are toxic compounds produced by molds when foods are not properly stored.

    "The authority has been conducting surveillance in the safety of food imports into Kenya. The results from maize imported from Uganda and Tanzania have revealed high levels of mycotoxins that are consistently beyond safety limits," stated AFA acting Director-General Kelli Harsama in a letter addressed to KRA's Commissioner of Customs.

    Dozens of loaded trucks transporting maize from Tanzania have been stranded at the border since the ban.

    In October 2020, 15 trucks from Tanzania were turned back after Kenyan authorities raised concerns over aflatoxin levels in the maize. 

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    Bags of maize at a warehouse
    File