SHORTAGE

Wheat flour prices could go up due to Russia-Ukraine war

Kenya imports 90 per cent of its wheat from Russia and Ukraine

In Summary

• The current national annual wheat consumption is at 24 million bags and two million bags monthly. This is against an annual production of about two million bags.

• Russia and Ukraine accounts for 29 percent of global wheat exports.

Packets of wheat flour in a supermarket.
SHORTAGE: Packets of wheat flour in a supermarket.
Image: FILE

The price of wheat flour is likely to go up due to the current Russia-Ukraine tension, a miller has said.  

A two-kilo packet is retailing at between Sh140 to Sh160.

A miller who did not want to be named told the Star on Friday that Russia and Ukraine account for 29 per cent of global wheat exports.  

Data from Agriculture and Food Authority shows that 90 per cent of wheat consumed in the country is imported from mainly Russia and Ukraine.

The projected import target was at 2.7 million tonnes for the 2021-22 financial year.

The current national annual wheat consumption is at 24 million bags and two million bags monthly. This is against an annual production of about two million bags.

In Kenya, wheat is produced in Narok, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, Meru and Laikipia counties.

“Local and international prices of a 90 kg bag of wheat is above Sh4,000. International prices jumped up by over 100 dollars per metric tonne overnight and this is expected to carry on,” the miller said.

He said the increase in international prices will definitely have an effect on consumer prices.

Farmers in one of the wheat farms in Olkurto area of Narok county.
HIGH CONSUMER PRICES: Farmers in one of the wheat farms in Olkurto area of Narok county.
Image: KIPLANG'AT KIRUI

Last August, Agriculture CS Peter Munya set the minimum price of a 90kg bag of grade one wheat at Sh3,700 and Sh3,600 for grade two wheat.

This was an increment of Sh500 from the price of Sh3,200 per 90kg bag in 2020.

Millers have asked the government to lower the ten per cent import duty that was put to protect the Kenyan farmer.

This will help to cushion consumers against the impending high cost of flour.

"Currently, all the local wheat in Kenya has been bought. This year, the country produced about 800,000 bags of wheat, and so far millers have imported about 26 million bags. About 80 per cent of the cost of flour is directly related to the cost of grain,” the miller said.

Anthony Kioko, CEO Cereal Growers Association said in an interview last year that the current area under wheat production is at 370,658.07 acres, with more than 5,000 farmers involved in production.

Kioko said farmers should take advantage of the good prices and increase wheat production as there is a ready market.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)

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