Millers given window to import 5mn bags of yellow maize
Kenya’s government will allow millers to import 5 million bags of yellow maize for the production of animal feeds to cushion consumer prices of white maize following a drought, a top agriculture ministry official said on Monday.
The East African nation, which only allows maize imports in special circumstances, is facing an acute drought with an estimated 2.7 million people in need of food aid.
“We have decided we insulate the white maize that is going to be consumed by human beings and we allow the animal feed millers to import at least 5 million bags (yellow maize) for the next three to four months,” Richard Lesiyampe, the principal secretary in the ministry told Reuters.
Production of animal feeds usually takes 800,000 to one million bags of white maize a month, he said, adding the yellow maize imports will cut demand until the next harvest.
Millers, who will be get duty waivers for the imports, are in final talks with the government over the standards of the imported grain, including ensuring 99 percent is not genetically modified, Lesiyampe said.
“We should be finalizing in the course of this week,” he said, adding the origin of the grains will be up to the millers.
Possible sources would be the United States, South Africa and Ukraine.
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