Wheat farmers assured of uptake ahead of import window
The government has announced plans to import three million tons of wheat over the next two years o cover increased consumption.
Wheat farmers have however been assured of first priority in the state off take plan even as the state plans to cover the deficit.
Agriculture chief administrative secretary Andrew Tuimor said with a domestic production capacity of 400,000 tons annually against a demand of close to a million tons, there is need for imports.
“There is a deficit and that’s why we allow certain millers to import. But what we have agreed with those millers, is that they must first of all buy local wheat before they import,” Mr Tuimor said.
What harvest has begun in most parts with farmers calling for more safeguards to avoid similar flooding of maize and sugar in the past.
Already wheat farmers in the North Rift are projecting a production drop of 30 percent due to high cost of production, heavy rains and delays in payment for deliveries.
But farmers are wary of the import window having seen the impact similar windows have had on sugarcane and maize farmers.
Nandi Governor Stephen Sang urged the government to properly manage the import window to ensure local farmers are not disenfranchised.
“Let’s be sensitive about the timing. When the gates are open at the time farmers are harvesting then it becomes a challenge. What the government needs to be cautious about is the timing for those imports,” Mr Sang said.