U.S. wheat may now be shipped to Kenya regardless of state of origin or port of export. This allows U.S. wheat from Idaho, Oregon, and Washington to be added to the list of states that can ship wheat to Kenya.
“American farmers in the Pacific Northwest now have full access to the Kenyan wheat market,” said Greg Ibach, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “This action proves our commitment to securing fair treatment and greater access for U.S. products in the global marketplace.”
For the last 12 years, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has worked closely with Kenyan officials to address plant health concerns that kept U.S. wheat exports from Idaho, Oregon, and Washington out of Kenya. The U.S.-Kenya Trade and Investment Working Group, established after an August 2018 White House meeting between President Donald Trump and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, provided the forum for APHIS, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to finally resolve this longstanding issue with Kenya.
On January 28, 2020, Kenya’s national plant protection organization officially signed the Export Certification Protocol between Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service and APHIS/PPQ on Wheat Grain Consignments to Kenya for immediate implementation. The protocol gives U.S. exporters full access to Kenya’s wheat market, valued at nearly $500 million annually.
“Going forward, the USDA team looks forward to building on this success and further strengthening our relationship with Kenya as we pursue a new bilateral free trade agreement that will create additional market opportunities for U.S. producers and exporters,” said Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney.
- The wheat deal is part of trade agreement negotiations between the U.S. and Kenya. Another development includes a plan to maximize Kenya's utilization of trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act - The Star, Kenya
- Imports of corn, wheat and rice to Kenya are projected to increase in the 2019-20 marketing year due to a supply deficit. – World-Grain.com
- Kenya relies heavily on imported food and farm products, even though 75% of the country's workforce is employed in agriculture at least part-time. Agriculture generates about 25% of the country's gross domestic product. The country is recovering from successive years of drought. – USDA Foreign Agricultural Service