Wheat imports banned, prices raise to protect local farmers

29.07.2016

The government has banned import of wheat by local millers in a move to protect local farmers from falling wheat prices.

Agriculture PS Richard Lesiyampe yesterday warned millers they risk losing their licenses if they violate the directive. He also announced the new price of Sh3,000 per 90kg with farmers selling directly to millers.

He said it will enable local farmers benefit from their harvest.

“As the government, we have met with the millers and explained this decision to them. We will not permit any importation of wheat until the millers exhaust their reserves from local farmers,” Lesiyampe said.

The PS spoke in Narok after a meeting with Governor Samuel ole Tunai and wheat farmers.

Speaking to the media, Governor Tunai said the increasing cost of production has made it difficult for farmers to break even.

“The problem facing farmers at the moment is the pricing. What is being offered by the millers is too little for farmers to recoup any money after their investment,” Tunai said.

“Only 28 per cent of the total arable land in the county has been put under wheat farming, If the government protects farmers, Narok will be able to produce the 1.2 million metric tonnes of wheat the country consumes,” the governor said.

The falling prices of wheat have contributed largely to the low market prices resulting in the outcry by the farmers, seeking the government’s intervention.

In his remarks, the PS noted that the millers were opting to import wheat at Sh2,500.


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