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Annual local wheat production forecast to hit three million bags

wheat
Kenya produces less than 350,000 tonnes of wheat against consumption of over one million tonnes. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Wheat production is expected to improve this year following good weather that boosted production across the breadbasket region.

Cereal Growers Association (CGA) chief executive officer Anthony Kioko said production is expected to grow from 2.7 million bags last year to three million.

The high production will reduce imports and check high cost of wheat flour in the country. Wheat price has been moving up in the recent months to currently retail at an average of Sh120 for a two kilogramme packet from Sh110.

“Narok is currently harvesting, which is the last crop of the year and we expect production to be higher than last year,” said Mr Kioko.

The Narok crop coincides with the ongoing harvest in some parts in Mt Kenya region. Narok is the country’s major wheat production zone accounting for over 60 percent of the total output.

In the North Rift, wheat is mainly grown in Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu and parts of Elgeyo-Marakwet counties.

A 90 kilogramme bag is currently retailing at between Sh2,900 and Sh3,200 depending on the quality. This is almost the same price it fetched last year.

Imports are fetching almost the same price as the local crop. Kenyan farmers always demand premium price for their crop forcing the government to limit imports. Last year, high international price of wheat pushed up the cost of imports, impacting negatively on the producer price of the flour.

Kenya produces less than 350,000 tonnes of wheat against consumption of over one million tonnes, forcing the country to import to plug the deficit.

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