Tanzania changes tune on food exports to East Africa
Saturday September 17 2016
Tanzania is set to introduce new rules on food exports after it lifted a ban that had seen Uganda become the main source of grains in the region. PHOTO | FILE
The government said the lifting of the ban was prompted by forecast of surpluses. However, exporters will still require permits for rice and maize, and quotas will also be introduced to limit the export quantities.
The measures also appear to be aimed at reining in middlemen who capitalise on the harvest season and cash needs of farmers to buy produce at low prices, denying the growers high prices later, and entrenching poverty.
Though EAC is a Customs Union, trade in food is one of the sensitive areas that are left to national interests especially with regard to the terms of importing food during deficits and exporting in times of surpluses. However, there are Custom external tariffs for importing maize, wheat and sugar from which countries can seek exemptions in a bid to make the goods affordable by citizens.