By Paul Owere
The East African Community bloc is trying to come to terms with Kenya’s decision to ban corn from its market on medical grounds.
The decision angered many as farmers and traders who relied on the Kenyan market counted losses.
Long lines of stranded trucks were seen yesterday at the Namanga border, which was the first to be hit by the blockade.
However, this is not the first point Kenya banned products from the East African bloc in 2021. In January, imports of poultry and beef products from and outside East Africa were banned.
In the January 14 memo, East Africa’s largest economy halted all chicken, meat and egg imports on the pretext that it had to “help producers recover from disruptions to their livestock operations caused by Covid-19.”
“We have instructions to suspend the importation of frozen chicken carcasses and cuts, as well as chicken eggs for human consumption. You should hereby be instructed to suspend the further approval of this import by issuing an import veterinary certificate until further notice. “
In the memo, Dr. Obadiah N Njangi, the director of veterinary services, in a memo calling on all heads of the veterinary service, the officers in charge and the ports of entry to implement the instructions without exception.
On Friday March 5, Kenya also banned corn imports from Uganda and Tanzania, with a finding that chronic aflatoxin-related diseases, some of which have resulted in death, had increased acutely.
“The authority [Agriculture and Food Authority] has been overseeing the safety of food imports into Kenya. The test results for maize imported from Uganda and Tanzania showed a high content of mycotoxins that are consistently above the safety limits. We would like to draw your attention to the fact that the Department of Agriculture and Food has suspended further corn imports to Kenya with immediate effect. “A letter from Mr. Kello Harsama, the Director General of the Agriculture and Food Authority, notifying the Kenya Revenue Authority, is partial.
The losses that come with these bans have yet to be calculated, but it is hundreds of millions of dollars for the two East African economies.
The country’s Bank of Uganda data is expected to lose an average of $ 121 million ($ 447 billion) in annual sales, according to a report in the Daily Monitor.