Farmers across various segments of the industry have lamented the high cost of animal feed which has been occasioned by a biting maize shortage in the country.
Unfortunately, their respite appears to be further down the road than they would hope.
In November last year, the government gave the greenlight for feed manufacturers to import yellow maize duty-free in a move aimed at bringing down the cost of the commodity.
However, the processors have had it hard sourcing the produce that meets the government’s standards regarding GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms).
Initially, the government directed that imports be absolutely free of GMOs (100 percent pure), before relaxing the requirement to allow trace amounts (99.1 percent). This adjustment prompted an extension of the duty-free importation period until the end of October, this year.
Still, the amnesty extended to the importers appears not to have eased their sailing. On July 14, the Business Daily reported that the ship manifest for the next two weeks indicates that yellow maize is not among the commodities that are expected to dock at the Port of Mombasa.
In light of this, the State has made accommodations in the deadline for yellow maize imports.
Mr Harry Kimtai, the Ministry of Livestock Principal Secretary, announced that yellow maize shipments that will arrive after the October deadline will be granted duty exemptions, as long as import orders are placed within the authorized timeline.
These developments imply that the first yellow maize consignments will dock at the Mombasa port towards the year’s end, prolonging the costly animal feed period for farmers.