The Kenya’s Agriculture and Food Authority has today the 5th of March banned the importation of maize from Uganda and Tanzania. In an official press release, the Agriculture and Food Authority of Kenya informed that the maize that comes in from Uganda has been found out that it has a high rate of mycotoxins, that have caused severe illness and deaths.
In addition, These mycotoxins are said to be ‘beyond safety limits’ and that nothing can be done to avert the implications caused and damages, than banning the maize from entering the East African country.
In the same letter, the government of Kenya says about the maize that, it is highly willing to keep the trade partnerships with the affected countries, and even see this kind of the maize issue rectified. It is this very release that also Tanzania was affected due to the same issue.
“The Authority has been conducting surveillance on the safety of food import to Kenya. Test results of for maize imported from Uganda and Tanzania have revealed high levels of mycotoxins that are consistently beyond safety limits” part of the press release read and signed by Acting Director General Kello Harsama.
What are Mycotoxins?
These are toxic compounds that are naturally produced by certain types of moulds (fungi). Moulds that can produce mycotoxins grow on numerous foodstuffs such as cereals, dried fruits, nuts and spices.
Mould growth can occur either before harvest or after harvest, during storage, on/in the food itself often under warm, damp and humid conditions.