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Need to diversify wheat supplies

African countries dependent on Russian and Ukrainian wheat should diversify their sources of supply of this commodity, given the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict on the world wheat market, says a Policy Brief from the Policy Center for the New South (PCNS ).

“This crisis highlights the need to always diversify its supplies and to maintain, if possible, national sovereignty in areas as sensitive as food”, writes Henri-Louis Vedie, the author of this Policy brief dealing with the consequences of the situation in Ukraine on Africa’s wheat supply.

In total, 16 African countries comprising 374 million inhabitants, or nearly 40% of the African population, are 56% and more dependent on Russian and Ukrainian wheat, the document specifies, noting that the conflict between the two countries heavily impacts the world market for this commodity, primarily the main importing countries/customers of the two belligerents.

In addition, Henri-Louis Vedie indicated that the dependence of other African countries on Russian and Ukrainian wheat is less than 50%, like Morocco, Algeria and Nigeria. “who import more than 17 million tons of wheat, mostly neither Russian nor Ukrainian”.

“Morocco produces wheat in variable quantities depending on climatic conditions. Thus, in 2021, good weather conditions reduced wheat imports by 0.7 Mt, falling below the 5 Mt mark, estimated at 4.5 Mt”he continued.

He added that Moroccan imports are characterized by the diversity of suppliers. “Thus, we find Ukraine (25%), Russia (11%), France (40%) and Canada for almost all of the imports of durum wheat”.

Thus, this Policy Brief recommends that African countries diversify their supplies, following the example of Morocco and Nigeria. It is also a question of “preserving its food sovereignty and having an agriculture that primarily favors food crops such as wheat.




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