Uganda maize influx prices Kenyan farmers out of market

Saturday June 16 2018

A maize trader in Kisii County. FILE PHOTO | NMG

A maize trader in Kisii County. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

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Traders trucked in 3.28 million bags of cheaper maize from Uganda in five months through May, fresh official statistics indicate, helping price out maize farmers from Kenya’s food basket regions.

Data released by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) shows 295,200 metric tonnes of staple maize was imported from the neighbouring country in the period, which was 47,610 tonnes more than what was bought in the whole of 2017 and 2016.

Uganda accounted for 70.36 per cent of the nearly 419,548 tonnes of maize, an equivalent of about 4.66 million 90-kilo bags, which was was shipped into Kenya in that period.

The rest of the maize was bought from Zambia (64,800 tonnes), Tanzania (56,245 tonnes), Mozambique (3,300 tonnes) and United Arabs Emirates (1.45 tonnes), KRA Commissioner for Customs and Border Control Julius Musyoki said in a report to legislators.

No Mexico maize

There was no maize that was shipped in from Mexico where 584,095 tonnes (6.49 million bags) was bought last year, representing nearly half (44.36 per cent) of the 1.32 million tonnes that was imported to bridge a drought-induced shortage.