A ship carrying consignments of white maize, sorghum and wheat docked at the Mombasa port on Wednesday as importers started shipping in the produce to ease a shortage of the cereals and avert a food crisis.


A manifest from the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) indicates that the Stellina ship docked at the port on Wednesday with 21,455 metric tonnes of white maize from Mozambique.

The KPA manifest also shows that 22,820 metric tonnes of sorghum arrived on Wednesday on a Giorgos Confidence Ship from the US.

Kenya also received 27,998 metric tonnes of wheat at the Mombasa port from Canada on a vessel known as Ability.

The KPA said the three commodities all docked on Wednesday evening but could not give the details of who is importing them, saying it would be overstepping its mandate.

“We will check for you (the details to do with the importers) once the manifest is confirmed through customs. This will take time,” said the KPA corporate communications office.

The State agency said all the vessels would dock at a berth owned and operated by the Grain Bulk Handlers.

The vessels with the three commodities are arriving in Kenya less than four months since a ship carrying 10,000 metric tonnes of imported maize docked at the Mombasa port, coming just days after the State said it would open the duty-free window for the produce.

The consignment got into Kenya even before an official gazette notice was released to legally allow imports.

The KPA manifest showed the consignment was onboard an African Merlin vessel.

The government has said before that it would allow the importation of 10 million bags of maize in the next six months to address the current shortage of the produce, which has kept the price of flour at an all-time high.

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Trade Cabinet secretary Moses Kuria said the import would be shipped in by the private sector.

Kenya has also been importing thousands of tonnes of wheat in the last few months as millers rush to replenish the diminishing stocks amid poor crops locally from the current season.

The import of wheat comes at a time Kenya is grappling with a shortage of wheat following disruption at the source markets of Ukraine and Russia in the wake of the conflict between these two countries which has cut the supply of grain.


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