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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenyan traders go for cheaper maize from Uganda as prices rise

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Maize imports from Uganda and Tanzania into Kenya are on the rise as prices increase in the East Africa nation following imposition of value added tax on fuel products.

Traders in search of cheaper commodities are currently importing up to 1,000 tonnes of dry maize a day, up from nil imports in August, latest data from the East Africa Grain Council released on Wednesday shows.

The data indicates that since the start of the month, the traders have upped the importation of maize especially from Uganda through the Busia and Malaba border points.

On Tuesday, imports from Uganda through Busia border point stood at 922 tonnes while from through Malaba traders shipped in 5 tonnes.

Monday, imports through Busia stood at 702 tonnes, Lwakhakha 5 tonnes and Isebania on the Tanzanian side 11 tonnes.

The tax imposed on fuel products in Kenya has pushed up prices of various commodities, with maize millers raising prices of their commodities by 0.05 dollars per 2kg packet. A 90kg bag of maize currently goes for 30 dollars, up from an average of 25 dollars.

Kenya is a maize deficit country, with the East African nation requiring at least 4 million bags of maize per month, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

However, as imports rise, farmers are a worried lot as the cheap maize from Uganda and Tanzania may price them out of the market.

“Farmers are currently harvesting their produce and because of the high tax, it may be hard to compete with the maize from Uganda. This would certainly affect many farmers,” said Bernard Moina, an agricultural officer in western Kenya.

             

 

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