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Wheat farmers and millers end pricing row

By Nanjinia Wamuswa | Published Thu, August 16th 2018 at 00:00, Updated August 15th 2018 at 23:01 GMT +3

A stalemate between wheat farmers and millers over prices has been resolved.

The Agriculture Ministry mediated talks at Kilimo House last week and got the two parties to agree to retain last year’s prices of Sh3,200 per 90kg bag for grade one, Sh3,100 for grade two and Sh3,000 for grade three.

Due to the dispute, farmers were selling their produce at throwaway prices to middlemen while millers opted to import cheaper wheat from neighbouring countries. Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri said there was a need to settle the matter for the benefit of both farmers and millers.

“We cannot continue with this trend. Farmers are losing and so are the millers. We needed to agree on prices that will be fair to both parties,” said the CS after the meeting that was also attended by Crops Development Principal Secretary Richard Lesiyampe.

Harvesting of wheat has already started in Narok and brokers are buying the crop at between Sh2,200 and 2,500 per 90kg bag.

The Cereal Millers Association vice chairman, Mohamed Ali, and the Cereal Growers Association chief executive, Anthony Kioko, welcomed the agreement, but urged the Government to control the quantities of the imports.

Processed wheat

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“We are in agreement with the Government to retain last year’s prices. However, we want the quantities of wheat being imported from Tanzania controlled and reduced drastically,” said Mr Kioko.

He said Tanzania produces very little wheat and exports it to Kenya at a lower price.

Mr Ali said the cheaper imports had made locally processed wheat flour uncompetitive.

“We are very much able to purchase all the wheat our farmers produce.”

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