Minister of Agriculture Dora Siliya and Minister of Finance Felix Mutati are on a two days visit to Kenya to discuss agriculture trade.
This follows a meeting with the Zambia National Farmers Union and Grain Traders in Lusaka 2 weeks ago. The Government plans to facilitate the export of the excess 1.2 million metric tonnes from this years 3.6 million mt production.
Kenya is in need of 300 thousand mt of maize per month and also has shortages of Sugar, with Zambia Sugar supplying 40 thousand mt so far.
Last week a delegation from the East Africa grain traders association visited Zambia on a fact finding mission and met with Ministries of Agriculture and Finance as well as the private sector in Zambia.
The business delegation expressed concern at the slow pace experienced at the Nakonde border as well as the strenuous photo-sanitary requirements by the Kenyan government. Speaking at a press briefing this morning Kenyan Minister of Agriculture Hon Willy Bett assured the Kenyan grain traders of basic and quick standards processes for maize and sugar imports into Kenya from Zambia.
Speaking at same briefing Ms Siliya and Mr Mutati promised an express lane for maize exports to Kenya .
“We have decided to commit an express lane for sugar and maize that is exported to Kenya in order to ease the movement of these produces,” said Ms Siliya.
She noted that Zambia has also reduced the duration that it takes for an exporter to get permit to ship maize out of Zambia from seven days to 24 hours.
It was also agreed that discussions Will commence immediately with Tazara to move most agriculture cargo from the road to rail, Kenya confirmed the continued waiver of duty on Maize and Sugar imports to facilitate smooth trade especially between Zambia and Kenya.
“We have removed the mandatory requirement of the 10 per cent export duty that traders had to pay before they are allowed to ship the grain in order to ease trade between two states,” he said.
The Kenyans are hoping to import 100 thousand mt in the next two weeks of maize from Zambia. The Zambian Ministers have confirmed to the Kenyans the removal of 10% export tax on maize and consistency in maize supply.
Kenya has experienced massive food shortages due to drought..the country has also been affected by army worms