GITEGA, 10 March 2021 – Burundi’s ministry of commerce has announced a six-months ban of all imports of maize grain and flour from a country Gitega did not name.
The ban went into effect last March 8 – International Women’s Day.
Maize recently imported to the country was “not good” and could negatively affect the health of Burundians, a statement from the ministry said.
The statement did not say which country was the source of the “not good” maize and flour targeted by the import ban.
“While this grain and flour is being rejected by neighbouring countries… we need to make sure that it does not enter the country,” said Jeremie Banigwaninzigo, the permanent secretary in Burundi’s commerce ministry.
Last week, Kenya banned the import of maize from Uganda and Tanzania over safety concerns.
Banigwaninzigo reassured consumers in Burundi that the banned commodities will remain available in good supply in Burundian markets.
He explained Burundi’s maize farmers had a great harvest and the ban won’t lead to a maize or flour shortage.
The bulk of maize and flour imports into Burundi come from Zambia and Uganda.
Maize is one of Burundi’s staple foods and its bran is an essential part of the feed provided across the country to cattle.
Officials in Tanzania and Uganda have commented neither on the import ban announced by Kenya nor the ban announced by Burundi.