ZAMBIA is yet to export maize to Kenya, says the Food Reserve Agency.
In an interview, FRA marketing information coordinator Joseph Mulambu dismissed reports that the Kenyan government had rejected maize from Zambia.
Mulambu said talks on maize exports to Kenya were still under way contrary to media reports that the Kenyan government had rejected a maize consignment from Zambia.
According to media reports in Kenya last week, about 5,000 metric tonnes of maize imported from Malawi and Zambia had been blocked because it was discoloured and that concerns were raised over the two nations’ ability to supply an order for 55,000 tonnes of maize on time.
A lack of rain and rising world prices have left an estimated 12 million people in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia in dire need of food.
The Kenyan government said it would import maize from Zambia and Malawi to cushion the food shortages in that country.
“We have not exported any maize to Kenya so there is no way they can say our maize was rejected,” Mulambu said. “Discussions are still underway.”
The first consignment was due to arrive in Kenya by the end of July.
But Mulambu said the deal on the maize exports to the east African nation had not been finalised and added that the agency, however, was exporting to neighbouring DRC, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Kenya, east Africa’s biggest economy which consumes about 35 million bags of maize, is currently facing food shortages spurred by droughts.
The country’s strategic grain reserves have fallen and the government has cut the country’s 2011-2012 maize output projections from 39.8 million 90 kg bags of maize to 25 million due to low yields as a result of poor rainfall.