In the short and medium-term, the war will have a direct impact on agriculture in Africa via the global agriculture commodity prices channel. A rise in prices will provide opportunities for financial gains for farmers, especially grain and oilseed farmers.
Russian agricultural products were expected to be imported into African countries worth $4 billion by 2020.
As of 2019, Russia exported $2.95 billion of wheat to Egypt and $394 million to Nigeria, and Ukraine exported $2.9 billion worth of agricultural products to the African continent. Sudan, Senegal, Tunisia, and Morocco also import Russian wheat.
The geopolitical conflict between Russia and Ukraine could be an opportunity for exporters in Africa, particularly for those looking to expand into gas and wheat production. On the other hand, some of those relying on imports could suffer a severe blow, like Kenya’s tea industry.
Additionally, Africa imported $4 billion worth of agricultural products from Russia in 2020, much of it wheat and sunflower oil. Ukrainian agricultural products totaled $2.9 billion to the African continent; nearly half of it wheat, while about a third of it maize, sunflower, barley, oil, and soybeans.
Ukrainian wheat is responsible for seven percent of the wheat production in the world, and Russian wheat accounts for 18 percent of the same crop. Ethiopia will hold talks with Cairo and Sudan in March 2022 about the utilisation of the Nile waters after the suspension of Russia and Ukraine from the African horticultural and energy markets. Wheat is a common product between the two nations, and production in Ethiopia would satisfy their interest while not going against their production.
The African nation may also look to steal Russia’s market for gas imports to Europe by supplying the same to Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia, and Morocco. European nations may shift to Tanzania as a possible source for gas exports. Currently, Russian gas dominates the continent by about 35 percent.
Products imported from European countries affected by the Eurozone crisis will be more expensive. Aside from gas trades, African nations creating sunflower oil, maize, and grains could investigate redoing their commodities and perhaps benefit from the Russian-Ukrainian clash. South Africa benefits from trading organic products to Russia. In 2020, Russia represented 7% of South Africa’s citrus trade in esteem terms. Furthermore, it represented 12% of South Africa’s apples and pears trade around the same time the nation’s second-biggest market.