Kenya on Friday announced an immediate embargo on Ugandan Maize grain days after its head of state, Uhuru Kenyatta spoke to US president Joe Biden in a lengthy phone call conversation.
The ban implies that Ugandan maize exporters, traders and farmers in are to brace for a devastating price slump of the product.
The ban which was announced by the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA), also affects neighbouring Tanzania, a country that has faced political clashes with Kenya.
“We wish to bring to your attention that Agriculture and Food Authority has stopped any further imports of the maize into Kenya with immediate effect,” Ms Kello Harsana, the acting director general of AFA, said in a Friday statement. “Test results for maize imported from Uganda and Tanzania have revealed high levels of mycotoxins that are consistently beyond safety limits,” Ms Harsana further disclosed in the statement.
“Mycotoxins, particularly aflatoxins and fumonisins are known to be carcinogenic. Over the years, a number of acute and chronic aflatoxins related illness cases have been recorded in Kenya including deaths.”
The decision according to knowledgeable sources has been reached after the US convinced Kenya to institute the ban on her Ugandan counterpart on grounds that they were consuming genetically modified crops under the Chinese scientific schemes ensuing in the landlocked country. Investigations by the US indicated that Chinese are modifying Ugandan agricultural products something that in the long run makes them deadly for human consumption.