IEA Holds Public Forum on Food Security in Kenya

Post Date: 03 April 2019   |   Category: Agriculture   |   Hits: 357

In recent times, the country has been facing severe food insecurity problems and as result causing loss of lives. These are attributed to several factors such as droughts in most parts of the country, low purchasing power for large proportion of the population due to high level of poverty among other factors.

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA-Kenya) held a public forum on food security in Kenya. The forum held on Wednesday, April 03 2019 at the Sarova Stanley Hotel in Nairobi, discussed some of the issues and measures that the government needs to put in place for the BIG 4 agenda on food security to become a reality and to avert the recurring food insecurity problems in future.

Speaking during the forum, Mr. Stephen Jairo, an assistant programme officer, regulation and competition policy programme at the IEA-Kenya said that one of the main causes of food insecurity is the decline in food production. For instance, production of maize was 39 million bags in 2014 and 37.1 million bags in 2016, which was in both years below annual average of 40 million bags.

Over the years, per capita utilization of maize among Kenyans had gone down to 58.2kg in 2016 compared with 64.9kg in 2012 and this is attributed to  declining maize production and the subsequent high prices of maize and maize flour. Other foods such as potatoes are also slowly taking over the prized place that maize and maize flour occupied in Kenyan households, quipped Jairo.

As policy recommendation to the recent food crisis, Mr. Stephen Jairo said that in order to address food and nutrition security in the country what is needed is not new policy documents, but the implementation of the existing ones such as the Agriculture Sector Development Strategy (ASDS) 2010 – 2020, Food Security and Nutrition Policy (2011) just to mention but a few.