Kenya’s Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi who has said Kenya is contracting Zambian farmers to grow maize exclusively for the Kenyan market. On the other hand, Zambia’s Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane has said his country will not be exporting maize to Kenya this season because it has a deficit in the grain. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NMG

Zambia will not be exporting maize to Kenya this season because it has a deficit in the grain, its Finance Minister, Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane, has said.

In an interview with The East African on the side-lines of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings in Washington DC, Dr Musokotwane said Zambia will instead be importing maize to supplement the shortfalls occasioned by a poor harvest last season.

Kenya’s Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi has said Kenya is contracting Zambian farmers to grow maize exclusively for the Kenyan market as the government seeks to lower the cost of the staple, with the first consignment under the agreement expected in August.

 “I think we all know that there has been a shortage of maize, especially in border areas near Tanzania, Congo and Malawi. In the most immediate response, the government decided that we allow importation to supplement whatever we have so that shortages can be alleviated,” said Dr Musokotwane.

Removed taxes

“So, to facilitate that, (Zambia’s) Treasury has removed taxes and other fees payable on maize imports so that we contribute towards moderating the cost of this commodity. The taxes have been removed, the private sector is free to import from either South Africa or from anywhere so that the shortages can be alleviated.”

Source: TheEastAfrica

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