Effective immediately, U.S. wheat may now be shipped to Kenya, regardless of the state of origin or port of export, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced this week. This important step will allow 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, U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary 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 & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) 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 & Investment Working Group, established after an August 2018 White House meeting between President Donald Trump and Kenya's 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 long-standing issue with Kenya.
On Jan. 28, 2020, Kenya’s national plant protection organization officially signed the Export Certification Protocol between the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service and APHIS's Plant Protection & Quarantine 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,” USDA undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs Ted McKinney said.