Govt calls for Urgent meeting over Kenya maize ban

Govt calls for Urgent meeting over Kenya maize ban

The government has called a crisis meeting to settle the deadlock between Uganda and Kenya that has seen the former’s maize banned from the latter. 

Mr Julius Maganda, the State minister for the East African Community (EAC) Affairs, said Uganda’s ministers of Trade, Agriculture, East African Community Affairs and Finance are scheduled to hold a meeting today 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 divulge more details because “l am still consulting”.

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

The ban comes at a time when the country is still grappling with the economic impact of the Covid-19 restrictions.

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

Ordinarily, a farmer sells a kilogramme 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.