Ugandan government has called an emergency meeting to resolve the stalemate between Kenya and Uganda over the maize-import ban announced by Kenya.
According to Julius Maganda, the State minister for the East African Community (EAC) Affairs, Uganda’s ministers of Trade, Agriculture, East African Community Affairs and Finance are scheduled to convene 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.
On March 5, Kenya through the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) announced a ban on Ugandan and Tanzanian maize over health-related reasons after surveillance, reportedly discovered that they had high levels of mycotoxins, aflatoxins, and fumonisins “which are consistently beyond safety limits”.
Ugandan lawmakers called for a retaliatory response to what they termed as “unnecessary” ban on Ugandan and Tanzanian products.
They also tasked the government to explain why Uganda should continue to impress the East African Integration efforts when its neighbours are frustrating the Common Market protocol to which member states are signatories.
Busia Municipality MP Geofrey Macho said over 5,000,000 people, including farmers and traders, are going to make losses as a result of the ban. Kenya is accused of creating excuses of toxins to frustrate the market for its neighbours.
Other MPs like Abdu Katuntu for Bugweri County, Gaffa Mbwatekamwa for Kasambya County also hold similar views on the trade tensions.
According to data obtained from Bank of Uganda, the maize-import ban would cause Uganda to lose at least $121m (Shs447b) in annual revenue.
Maize farmers and grain dealers worry that coming at a time when the country is still grappling with the economic woes induced by the pandemic, the embargo could force grain prices lower than they currently are.
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