NAIROBI, KENYA — Corn production in Kenya is expected to be largely unchanged, rising 3% to 3.2 million tonnes in marketing year 2022-23 due to high fertilizer prices and farmers moving to alternative crops such as sugar cane, according to the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“Additionally, due to Kenya’s ongoing feed crisis, some farmers are harvesting their maize prematurely for silage,” the USDA said. “Kenya is currently suffering from a sharp increase in feed ingredient costs, ranging from 30% to 70% in 2021, varying by commodity. This crisis makes silage more attractive to farmers due to high feed prices.”

Post estimates that 2022-23 total corn consumption will remain flat at about 4 million tonnes, due to supply constraints and shifting consumer preferences. 

Kenya’s wheat consumption in 2022-23 is expected to rise to 2.25 million tonnes from 2.2 million tonnes as tourism and restaurants bounce back from COVID-19 restrictions. Wheat production is forecast to increase 20% year-on-year to 300,000 tonnes due to better weather conditions with imports steady at 2.1 million tonnes as demand and local production grow simultaneously.

Kenya rice production is forecast to increase in 2022-23 to 90,000 tonnes from 80,000 tonnes due to an expansion of the Mwea irrigation project following the completion of the Thiba Dam, however the country will remain dependent on imports for the majority of its rice supply. The USDA forecasts a 3% increase in rice consumption to 720,000 tonnes driven mainly by the reopening of the hospitality sector following COVID-19 lockdowns.