The Ministry of Commerce and Textile on Monday clarified that the news items published in a section of the press regarding rice export consignment from Pakistan was totally baseless and against the reality.
The said news item created the impression that the additional inspection done by the Kenyan authorities was a discriminatory measure specific to Pakistan and it was related to the quality concerns on Pakistani rice, a statement issued by Ministry of Commerce and Textiles here said.
It clarified that the quality of Pakistani rice was world acclaimed and Pakistan supplied more than 4 million tonnes of rice to nearly 100 countries of the world. Pakistan had a state-of-the-art rice milling and processing industry which met the health and safety requirements of even the most stringent markets like Europe and USA.
It was true that the clearance of shipments of many food products e.g. sugar, edible oil and rice, at the Kenyan ports had recently slowed down, after a few shipments of food items supplied from other countries did not meet the health and safety standards. Therefore, the clearance of shipments at Kenyan ports had been made stringent and additional sampling/testing was being done by the inspection bodies irrespective of the country of origin.
No shipment from Pakistan had been reported to be held at the port for failing to meet the food safety standards of Kenya. In the wake of news reports in a section of media, Pakistan’s High Commission in Kenya had approached the relevant Kenyan authorities who clarified that no Pakistan-specific inspections were being conducted on rice shipments.
They have also assured that the situation was temporary and normalcy would resume after risk profiling was completed in few weeks.