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Burundi bans maize imports

Burundi has joined Kenya in banning the importation of maize grain and flour imports for the next six months.

In a statement released by the country’s Ministry of Commerce on Monday, March 8, 2021, indicated that the maize they recently imported was “not good” and could affect people’s health.

“While this grain and flour is being rejected by neighboring countries, we need to make sure that it does not enter the country,’’ Jeremie Banigwaninzigo, the permanent secretary in Burundi’s ministry for commerce and tourism indicated.

The letter did not indicate which country the maize was being imported from though the country has been importing maize from Uganda and Zambia.

On Friday last week, Kenya banned the importation of maize from Uganda.  Kelo Harsama, the acting director General of KAFA announced an immediate ban on the importation of Ugandan and Tanzanian maize claiming that the maize has high levels of mycotoxins which are beyond safety limits.

“The Authority (Kenya’s Agriculture and Food Authority) has been coordinating surveillance on the safety of food imports to Kenya. Test results for maize have revealed high levels of mycotoxins, which are consistently beyond safety limits. Mycotoxins, particularly aflatoxins and fumonisins are known to be carcinogenic. Over the years of acute aflatoxins related illness cases have been reported including deaths,” stated Harsama.

He also added, “We wish to bring to your attention that Agriculture and Food Authority has stopped any further imports of the maize into Kenya with immediate effect.”

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