Tanzania has banned the export of food grain following concerns over an increase in food smuggling to neighbouring countries.
At the weekend, the authorities seized 10 tracks of food products reportedly heading to Kenya at Tarekea in North Tanzania.
Speaking at a national Eidd al-Fitr ceremony in northern Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro region, Prime Minister Kassim Majira warned that food smuggling threatens food security in the country.
“From today on, whoever will be caught smuggling food to neighbouring countries, the contraband cargo will be confiscated and handed to the National Food Reserve, and the truck used for smuggling will be donated to the Police Force” he said.
The government would now only allow export of processed food items such as maize flour because that will benefit local industries.
He added that business people should take food products from where they are abundant and sell them where there is scarcity.
Kenya has recently been hit by food shortages, in particular maize, the staple food in East Africa. The situation has opened up market opportunities for Tanzanian business people.