Kenya has only stockpiled enough food reserves to sustain the country up until the end of June. Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Principal Secretary Prof. Hamadi Boga, however, said the current stocks may likely be supplemented by imports and harvests from the long rain season.
He said the country had finalized plans to import at least two million bags of maize to supplement the supplies from the domestic market.
Speaking during a webinar discussion on Food Security and post Covid 19 organized by the Konza techonopolis, the Prof revealed that the ministry was monitoring stock levels and quality to project future requirements to ensure that the supplies met the local demand.
“The government is working on nine potential intervention to ensure that food security was guaranteed during the Covid 19 crisis by developing strategies and guidelines to facilitate smooth supply of staple nutritious foods at affordable prices for a majority of the population”, he said .
Prof Boga said the management of food security at both the national and county government during the emergency period was critical and called for timely collection and sharing of data and information across all levels of government.
“We want to ensure availability, accessibility and affordability of food and other basic needs during this period by maintaining steady supply of agricultural products and ensure that value addition was also prioritized to improve returns to farmers”, he said .
Prof. Boga expressed optimism that the country had made tremendous progress in setting up the stage for Food Security saying mechanism to set tracking of food stock in sixteen counties was ongoing.
“Food availability has only been reported by 16 counties which represent 30pc of the country’s food demand. These counties have sufficient supply of maize, rice, sorghum, millet, beans and potatoes but have are likely to have a shortage of wheat in the short-term”, he said.
There are conversations with the CECs and county level stakeholders to understand the root cause of the shortages and where they exist but stressed on the need for urgent submission of data by the remaining 30 counties
The PS said 40 out of 45 key markets under surveillance have however recorded fluctuations in prices and supply although the changes were not significant.
He added that a template has also been shared with the CECs for tracking market status, food prices and food stock levels which are submitted to the national desk on a weekly basis.
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