NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Traders in Kenya have intensified
cross-border maize imports from Uganda and Tanzania as
stocks in the East African nation dwindle pushing up
are currently importing up to 2,000 metric tonnes (MT)
of dry maize a day through four border points, data from
the East African Grain Council (EAGC) shows Thursday.
of the staple are the highest in recent times as the
East African nation grapples with low maize supply
following declined harvest due to erratic rains and
maize inflows are being shipped in through Busia, Malaba,
Lwakhakha and Isebania border points. The first three
are towns in western Kenya where the country borders
Uganda while the last one is on the Tanzanian side.
quarters of the produce is coming into Kenya from
Uganda, a long-time source of dry maize imports.
noted that traders have increased imports due to better
prices in Kenya following the shortage.
The price of
dry maize across major towns in Kenya has increased
significantly, currently standing at an average of 32
U.S. dollars per 90kg bag.
The cost of
the staple is highest in Kisumu, western Kenya, where a
90kg bag is going for up to 38 dollars. In Mombasa at
the Coast, the price averages 34 dollars and in Nairobi,
a 90kg bag of dry maize is going for 32 dollars.
that what has occasioned the surge in cost, besides low
harvest due to armyworm attack and bad weather, is the
government mopping up of the produce from farmers for
its strategic reserves at higher prices.
government has been buying maize from farmers at 32
dollars a bag, the best price ever. Competition for the
produce therefore is tough in the market making traders
resort to cheaper imports as prices rise,” he said.
harvested some 36 million bags of maize last season,
down from 45 million, according to Tegemeo Institute, an
Uhuru Kenyatta in October 2017 announced the government
would spend 58 million dollars to buy maize from farmers
at 32 dollars per bag.
the National Cereals and Produce Board said that it had
so far purchased some 2.7 million bags, the highest from