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Kenya: Call for lifting of macadamia export banEarlier this week FreshPlaza reported on the seizing of macademia that smugglers were attempting to illegally export from Kenya. Now, a Kenyan news source has suggested that the laws making the export of the nuts illegal is actually detrimental to the nation's economy.
allAfrica.com said of the government's 2009 decision to ban the export of unprocessed nuts, "The local nut companies want to process the nuts for export, but they don't have the financial or marketing muscle to do it successfully. So the macadamia farmer gets less cash for his crop and the country gets less export earnings. Yet the Kenya shilling remains under pressure because there is a 10 per cent current account deficit. Kenya is importing more than it exports."
"The Government is protecting three or four local nut processors who found it difficult to compete on price with international buyers. But local Kenyan consumption of processed macadamia nuts is only around 40 tonnes a year compared to production of 3,500 tonnes."
"In this situation the export ban of raw macadamia nuts is madness. Kenya should be trying to increase its exports, not blocking them. There are other export bans as well. These selective export bans just protect inefficient companies who make windfall profits. They are losing Kenya money. Kenya should have no export bans at all.
Publication date: 3/9/2012
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