Tanzania: Bashe - Tanzania Ready to Sell Maize to Kenya

TANZANIA's ministry of agriculture has invited Kenyan businessperson to buy maize to bridge a shortfall that has led to soaring prices of the food.

The newly appointed Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation, Hussein Bashe said the maize would be sold at competitive market price noting there is enough stock in the country.

"Let me assure Kenyans that we have enough stock of maize. I promise to sit together with our fellow Kenyan leaders even today so that we can come up with an arrangement of selling maize at a market price.

That is the spirit of brotherhood," he said at State House in Dar es Salaam yesterday at an occasion to receive 35.2 kilogrammes of gold, 170m/-, Kshs 171,000 and 77,500 US dollars seized in Kenya.

A high-powered government delegation from Kenya led by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma flew to Dar es Salaam yesterday to return the gold and money seized by Kenyan police in Nairobi.

Ms Juma was accompanied by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji, Attorney General Kihara Kariuki and Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti.

The Deputy Minister said there should be no worry about quantity as the Cereals and Other Produce Board Chairperson, Ms Monica Mbega, had told him that they were struggling to sell some of the board's maize stock.

He also said businessperson should not worry about milling the grains since the country has two millings plants seating idle in Mwanza and Iringa. "I assure Kenyan businesspersons of no red tapes.

We will assist them to buy and mill their maize free from other intermediary." He also said the country will not face hunger this year since there enough food stock at the government grain stores and farmers still have last year stocks.

Kenya was set to open duty free maize imports this month to plug the grain shortage that has seen the price of flour rise 30 per cent in one month, according to media reports.

The imports are expected to start at the end of this month and last until end of October, in time for the next harvest, the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Ministry of Agriculture, Andrew Tuimur, told Senators.

"We anticipate beginning importation of maize at the end of this month. As we speak, the country has enough maize stock to last us a month," said Dr Tuimur while addressing the Senate committee on Agriculture.

The importation will be done by private companies and ten million bags out of the 12.5 million earmarked for importation will be white maize for household consumption while 2.5 million will be yellow maize for processing of animal feeds.

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