By Samuel Ouma | @journalist_27
Kenya has signed a deal with Tanzania which will see the latter supplying her neighbor with one million tonnes of maize each year according to Tanzanian local paper The Citizen.
The agreement was reached on Thursday, July 25 following a meeting that brought together Tanzania’s agriculture deputy minister Hussein Bashe, Kenyan Agriculture principal secretary Hamadi Boga, Kenyan High Commissioner to Tanzania Dan Kazungu and a number of government officials from both countries in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The meeting was convened in a bid to curb maize shortages in Kenya. Maize prices have hit a high level due the dry spell experienced across the East African Country for the last one year.
The leaders deliberated and agreed on a number of critical issues such as supplying a million tonnes of maize to Kenya, lifting trade barriers on agricultural products with cereals given much weight, setting indicative prices for produce and regularly convening meetings of by National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) and Cereals and Other Produce Board of Tanzania (CPB).
On the contract of contract for the supply of a million tonnes of maize, Mr. Bashe disclosed it will be signed next week during another meeting of regulatory bodies and leaders from the two countries.
“During the meeting Kenya will provide its demand maize of quality maize flour and a modality for traders using CPB facilities for processing, cleansing and packaging of maize,” he said.
This comes in the midst of pressure on Kenyan Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri to resign over maize shortages. A number of leaders including the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga have argued that the import plan is set to benefit maize cartels in the country. They are calling the government to stop the importation of maize and instead give farmers a chance to deliver their produce in the national galleries.