Stakeholders concede on wheat prices

Posted on August, 14, 2018 at 11:23 am

Nicholas Waitathu

A two month stalemate between wheat farmers and millers on pricing of the commodity has been resolved following government intervention.

During a three-hour meeting held at Kilimo House, the Ministry of Agriculture mediated the talks between farmers and local millers and agreed to retain last year’s prices of Sh3,200 per 90kg bag.

However, these prices are only for grade one with grade two and three attracting Sh3,100 and Sh3,000 respectively.

Farmers wanted the prices hiked to Sh3,300 for top grade, Sh3,200 for second grade and Sh3,000 for grade three.

Millers on the other hand wanted to buy grade one from farmers at a reduced cost of Sh3,100, grade two at Sh3,000 and grade three at Sh2,900.

The tag-of- war between the two parties prompted farmers to sell their produce at throw-away prices to middlemen while millers opted to import cheap wheat from neighbouring countries.

“We cannot continue with this trend, farmers and millers are losing out. This is a matter that we can and must resolve. Today we have to come to agreement,” Agriculture Cabinet secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri told the participants in the meeting on Wednesday.

He added:”We need to agree on prices that will be fair to both parties.”

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

Cereal Millers Association vice chairman Mohamed Ali, who represented the millers and Cereal Growers Association chief executive Anthony Kioko and farmers, welcomed the move but pleaded with the government to control the quantities being imported to the country.

“I must say 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,” Kioko told the meeting.

Source: MediaMax Network