Yellow corn imports await further changes to GMO rules

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Yellow corn imports await further changes to GMO rules


Yellow maize unloaded at the port of Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Feed makers will have to wait longer before they can import yellow corn as product quality review sent to attorney general’s office for approval, even though import window extended .

In November last year, the government opened a six-month import window for yellow maize, but none were shipped because processors said they could not source the pure product. 100% in terms of GMO content.

Livestock PS Harry Kimtai said changes to the previous gazette notice reducing the GMO purity threshold to 99.1% are now with the GA before they are sent to the printer for publication.

ALSO READ: Animal feed prices to jump Sh400 due to shortage of bite maize

“The new requirements are now in the hands of the attorney general for review, after which we will have them released,” Kimtai said.

“We have extended the import window for another six months in the new notice that we will publish in the gazette soon,” Kimtai said.

The PS said the move was intended to allow processors to bring in the goods duty-free before the window is reversed.

Mr Kimtai said the government was speeding up the process to ensure manufacturers bring in yellow maize in time to reduce the current high cost of animal feed.

The current average price of a 70-kilogram bag of dairy meal is Sh2,700 compared to Sh2,000 a year ago, with layers ranging from Sh4,000 to Sh3,200, while pig feed is Sh3 000 Sh against 2,400 Sh previously.

Kenya Feed Manufacturers Association Secretary General Martin Kinoti said the high cost of raw materials occasioned by the current shortage has seen processors operating at 40 per cent of their installed capacity while many others had to close their businesses.

“About 37 millers have so far closed because they could not cope with the shortage of key ingredients used in making animal feed in the market,” Kinoti said.

ALSO READ: Feed prices remain high on corn imports

Mr. Kinoti lamented that the high cost of food has made it difficult for their products to circulate in the market, as farmers have reduced the quantities they would previously buy, due to the price factor, which is out of their reach.

Some of the supplements that have seen a severe shortage include soybean meal, cottonseed meal, and sunflower meal.

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