Africa Newsletter 09-04-20
East Africa Update
Wheat Farmers Demand Better Prices
Kenyan wheat farmers have been demanding better prices from millers due to the high cost of production and that KES 3,500 per 90kg bag would allow them to just break-even as millers in the country are paying KES 3,250 per 90kg bag as reported by Business Daily.
Farmers have the support of the government which states that millers need to exhaust local production before opting for imported wheat and being issued with import licenses. The millers argue that the government needs to subsidize the farmers in order for them to remain competitive with the imported grain.
Kenya is a net importer of wheat with local consumption estimated at 900,000 tons per year compared to local production standing at 350,000 tons per year.
Uganda’s Exports To Rwanda Fall To UGX 328 million
Uganda’s exports to Rwanda have fallen to a very low UGX 328 million in June 2020 which is a result of the border dispute that has seen border closure and a dramatic fall in trade to one of Uganda’s leading trading partners.
According to The Monitor, the fall to UGX 328 million is compared with UGX 52 billion during the same time in 2019 where the usual exports of grain, milk products, cement, metals rollings, and household items were flowing freely in the neighboring EAC member.
The border dispute, which has lasted 2 years now, has forced Uganda’s exporters to switch focus to other markets in the region such as Kenya, South Sudan, Burundi, and Tanzania. Uganda’s main exports to Kenya include agricultural products, while for Burundi it is iron, steel, textiles, fruit, vegetables, and plastics and to Tanzania, exports include dairy products, eggs, and honey.
Africa Loses USD 670 million Annually In Rejected Exports
According to the East Africa Grain Council and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Africa loses up to USD 670 million a year in rejected agricultural products exported due to aflatoxins, which is a highly poisonous chemical produced by a fungus known as ‘Aspergillus flavus’.
The Citizen reports on the fungus being found in the soil and attacking key crops such as maize and groundnuts. The fungus also attacks these crops in post handling storage if they are not dried and stored properly as advised by quality inspection agencies.
The reduction of the aflatoxins in the key crops in Africa can lead to huge opportunities in the export markets as most of the affected crops are in demand in major regions including Europe and Asia. The lobby group Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) has also highlighted the dangers for food security and any of the consuming groups including humans and animals, have promoted the easy to use Aflasafe technology, with the support of USAID, to combat the fungus in the region.
For updates on global trade please see our report Hot Commodities at panxchange.com/hot-commodities