NAIROBI, KENYA — As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to unfold many uncertainties remain. In the 2020-21 marketing year Kenya anticipates grain supply issues as a result of the pandemic plus a decrease in domestic grain production, according to an April 23 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Domestically, Kenya’s labor and supply were disrupted by the stay-at-home order and a dusk-to-dawn curfew that were implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19. Those disruptions are expected to lead to a decrease in production of some grains.
Kenya’s corn production is forecast to drop as the government puts procedures in place to curb COVID-19. The USDA anticipates Kenya to produce 3 million tonnes of corn during the 2020-21 marketing year.
Corn demand is expected to outpace production, but the country’s import options are limited. Kenya’s ban on GM corn imports is still in place and there also are concerns of countries locking in their grains to preserve food security.
Kenya’s wheat production is expected to decline as producers switch to more lucrative commodities and COVID-19 procedures hamper production. The USDA forecasts Kenya’s 2020-21 marketing year wheat production to total 300,000 tonnes.
As demand decreases for wheat products in Kenya’s hotel and foodservice sector, the country’s consumption of the commodity remains flat. The USDA anticipates the country’s wheat imports to dip in the 2020-21 marketing year to 2 million tonnes.
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