FROM SH3,250 TO SH3,700

Wheat prices go up by Sh450 per 90kg bag

Agriculture CS Peter Munya says change won't affect cost of bread

In Summary

• Agriculture CS Peter Munya said the changes have taken into account the cost of production and importation. 

Workers arrange bags of wheat in a godown at the Mombasa port
IMPORTS: Workers arrange bags of wheat in a godown at the Mombasa port
Image: FILE
A wheat farm in Timau, Meru county
DOWNSIDE: A wheat farm in Timau, Meru county
Image: FILE

Wheat prices will this year rise by Sh450 on account of the cost of production and importation.

That means farmers will earn a minimum of Sh3,700 per 90kg bag compared to last year’s price of Sh3,250.

Agriculture CS Peter Munya said the ministry meets with wheat farmers and millers to agree on the pricing every year.

He said the price increase took into account the cost of production and importation. 

Munya said they arrived at the price of Sh3,700 for a 90kg bag of grade one wheat after discussions with the Cereal Millers Association and wheat farmers under the Cereal Growers Association.

He spoke on Monday.

Grade two will cost Sh3,600 while other lower grades will be bought on the basis of a willing buyer-willing seller. The price is for the period between July 2021 and June 2022.

Farmers were asking for the price of Sh4,300 but the CS said they had to take into account many issues including the cost of production and importation.

“But we also agreed that moving forward, we will work on a formula that determines the price of wheat taking into account the cost of production and cost of importing. This will be done instead of holding the annual discussions to agree on a price,” Munya said.

He assured Kenyans that this will not affect the cost of bread which is currently at Sh55.

A miller who did not want to be mentioned said last year’s price was at a minimum of Sh3,250, but they ended up buying wheat from farmers for between Sh3,600 and Sh4,000 per 90kg bag.

“Millers have been buying wheat from farmers at premium prices over the last 20 years to help support local farmers. Therefore, there should be a balance in having a price that protects both the farmers and the consumers and not just the farmers. The government should also ensure that the price competes within the East African region,” the miller said.

Munya said local wheat production has been going down and that the bulk of our wheat is imported. We import more than 90 per cent of wheat requirements in the country.

Millers mill 1.8 million bags annually and another 20-25 million bags of wheat are imported annually because Kenya produces soft wheat which has to be blended with hard wheat. Hard wheat forms the bulk of the imports.

“So any delays at the Port of Mombasa as what was experienced last week may affect the market and the consumers,” the miller said.

Cereal Growers Association CEO Anthony Kioko said local farmers produced about 20 per cent of the domestic whet demand, which was about 270,000 tonnes.

He said the bulk of wheat consumed in Kenya is imported mainly from Russia, Ukraine and South America.

 

Edited by P.O