Kenya is yet to relax strict conditions that it imposed on maize coming in from Tanzania even after President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a two-week ultimatum to have stocks held at the borders cleared.
A day after Mr Kenyatta directed Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya to ensure speedy clearance of the stocks, sector regulator Thursday issued a statement highlighting the conditions that will be adhered to before clearing the maize.
Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) said each consignment has to meet the maximum permissible aflatoxin levels of 10 parts per billion, a basis upon which maize from Tanzania and Uganda were from entering Kenya.
The guidelines also comprise other stringent requirements such as registration of all importers through the AFA’s IMIS system and presentation of a copy of the certificate of registration to the inspector at the border point.
Traders will also be required to issue certificate of conformity from a competent authority in the exporting country as evidence of the safety of the consignments and the produce will not be subjected to any further analysis.
However, a sample may be taken randomly for confirmatory tests.
These requirements look set to further delay the clearance of the stocks at the border and test the newly refreshed Kenya-Tanzania ties.
“The inspector shall issue a release order for each consignment that has met the above requirements to accompany the consignments to the point of offloading,” said AFA.
Mr Kenyatta said normal trade relations on grain should resume to ensure that business people do not suffer losses caused by the restrictions put in place two months ago.
“On the maize that is stuck at the border I have given you (CS Agriculture) two weeks to ensure that the stock is cleared,” said President Kenyatta.
Mr Kenyatta made the announcement on Wednesday during a joint session of Kenya and Tanzanian business community in Nairobi, which was attended by the visiting Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan.