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April 17, 2024
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Government calls for meeting over Kenya maize ban

The government of Uganda has called for a crisis meeting to settle what has been described as a trade war with Kenya that has seen Uganda’s maize exports banned from the latter’s market. 

State minister for the East African Community (EAC) Affairs, Julius Maganda, confirmed that Uganda’s ministers of Trade, Agriculture, East African Community Affairs and Finance are scheduled to hold a meeting today, Wednesday, 10th March, to come up with a common stand regarding the ban, ahead of another meeting with their Kenyan counterparts slated for March 11.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Amelia Kyambadde, also confirmed today’s meeting but declined to give more details, saying she is still holding consultations.

According to the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) in Kenya, Ugandan maize contains mycotoxins, particularly aflatoxins and fumonisins, which can cause cancer.

There is now a growing fear amongst Ugandan farmers and maize dealers that the ban would further push the grain prices even lower than they already are. 

Ordinarily, a farmer sells a kilogrammes of grain at an average of Shs400 across the country.

The ban on maize would also see Uganda lose an average of $121m (Shs447b) in annual revenue, according to data obtained from the Bank of Uganda.

A trader at the Busia market revealed that the ban was already taking a huge toll on traders, transporters and farmers both in Uganda and Kenya saying, 150 trucks are each loaded with more than nine tonnes of maize across the border to Kenya on a daily basis, while between 300,000 to 500,000 bags of maize are sold to Kenya monthly.

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