The wheat industry in Africa is complex and diverse, with various challenges and opportunities depending on the country and region. In recent years, there has been an increased focus on improving the wheat industry in Africa. Efforts have been made to increase investment in research and development, improve access to credit and finance for farmers, and promote the adoption of modern technologies and best practices in wheat cultivation.
Overall, while the wheat industry in Africa faces many challenges, there is also significant potential for growth and development in the coming years. Here are some statistics, facts, figures, and prices related to the wheat industry in Africa:
- Production: According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Africa produces about 10 million tons of wheat per year, which is only about 3% of the global production. In 2020, Africa produced about 28.2 million tonnes of wheat, which accounts for around 6% of global wheat production. The top wheat-producing countries in Africa are Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Ethiopia, and Sudan, whereby, Egypt is the largest wheat producer in Africa, accounting for over 40% of the continent’s total production. However, these countries still import significant quantities of wheat to meet their domestic demand.
- Consumption: Wheat consumption in Africa has been increasing steadily over the past decade, driven by population growth, urbanization, and changing diets. Africa consumes about 37 million tonnes of wheat per year, which is more than the continent’s production. As a result, African countries are significant importers of wheat, with imports accounting for more than 70% of their total wheat consumption. In 2020, Africa consumed 46.2 million tonnes of wheat, representing 12% of global consumption.
- Imports: In 2020, Africa imported around 27 million tonnes of wheat, which represents about 30% of global wheat imports. The top wheat importing countries in Africa are Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Morocco, and Sudan.
- Processing: The wheat milling industry is a significant sector in Africa, providing flour for various food products such as bread, biscuits, and pasta. However, the industry faces several challenges, including high energy costs, outdated machinery, and a lack of access to financing. However, there is a growing trend towards investing in modern milling technology to increase efficiency and reduce production costs.
- Prices: The price of wheat in Africa varies widely depending on the country and region, season, global market conditions and exchange rates. According to the International Grains Council (IGC), the average price of wheat in Africa in February 2023 was around $365 per tonne, which is slightly higher than the global average. As of March 2023, the average price of wheat in North Africa is $325 per tonne, while in sub-Saharan Africa, it is $358 per tonne.
- Challenges and Opportunities: Small-scale farmers make up a large portion of the wheat production in Africa, and improving their access to inputs, technology, and credit is critical to increasing productivity and competitiveness. The wheat industry in Africa faces several challenges, including low productivity, climate change, soil degradation, inadequate infrastructure, and lack of access to financing. However, there are also significant opportunities for growth in the sector, including increasing demand for wheat-based products and a growing trend towards investing in modern milling technology. There is also significant potential for increasing wheat production in Africa through the use of modern farming techniques and technology, such as improved seed varieties, irrigation, and mechanization. Additionally, there is a growing trend towards promoting local production and consumption of wheat, which could provide new opportunities for small-scale farmers and local milling industries. Moreover, many African governments have prioritized investments in wheat production and processing to reduce dependence on imports and create jobs in rural areas. However, challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, limited access to finance, and weak policy frameworks continue to hamper growth in the industry
In summary, the wheat industry in Africa is an important sector that contributes to food security and economic development. While African countries are significant importers of wheat, there is potential for increasing domestic production and improving productivity. Improved infrastructure, technology, and investment can help unlock the sector’s potential and contribute to food security and economic growth.
(Source: FAO, AGRA, International Grains Council (IGC), African Development Bank).