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Kenya, Zambia sign maize trade agreement

Staff Writer |
Kenya and Zambia signed an agreement on trade in agricultural commodities that will allow Kenya's private dealers to import maize and sugar faster to help fight hunger in the country.

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Zambia Minister for Agriculture Dora Siliya said maize importers from Kenya will now acquire permits within a day as opposed to previous seven days.

"We have also lifted a ban on maize export to enable Kenyan maize importers easy access of the commodity," Siliya told journalists in Nairobi.

In this new arrangement, the Zambian government removed 10 percent on additional tax on maize exported to Kenya hence fast tracking the movement of the commodity.

Siliya said that Zambia has taken the bold step in removing the long-existing bottleneck that remained a major problem between the two countries.

The Kenyan government has reached out to the international community to help send aid as 23 out of 47 counties have faced disastrous drought.

Under this agreement, Kenya will import 100,000 tonnes of maize and 40,000 tonnes of sugar. Already 16,000 tonnes of sugar has been imported to bridge the existing gap.

Siliya said that Zambia currently has 1.4 million tonnes surplus of maize following a bumper harvest last year.

She announced that her country has also opened an express lane to facilitate express clearance for maize and sugar exports to Kenya at the border.

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