Over two million people are staring at food crisis this month amid reports the country is set to run out of maize stock.
According to a report by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), which in May this year had indicated that 1.6 million people were facing starvation.
NDMA Officers have been dispatched officers to arid and semi-arid areas to collect data on the affected families in an effort for the government to take emergency interventions.
The report further states that, “More households now face stressed acute food insecurity levels. In the pastoral north-west, more households are in both crisis and emergency food insecurity phase.”
The crisis has been blamed on the below normal rainfall performance coupled with poor temporal and uneven distribution as the main reason for poor crop production.
The report names seven counties as some of the worst hit i.e. Turkana, Marsabit, Isiolo, Samburu, Wajir, Garissa, Tana River and Meru (Tigania West sub-county to be specific.
The food shortage has been attributed to the drought that affected food production in several parts of the country.
The government is planning to import maize on the advice of a public think-tank, Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development, which told the government this will help avert a major food crisis in the country.
The institute said that importation of the cereal would help shield consumers from ravages of drought and at the same time avert a defective subsidy programme like one in 2017.
This comes even after retailers have adjusted the price of a 2kg packet of flour to Sh120, up from Sh90, in the last few weeks.
Latest Ministry of Agriculture bulletin indicates that late rains onset, poor distribution and erratic rain patterns affected the crop planted early in most parts of the country.
It further notes that planting was delayed in some parts of the country and this is expected to cause a reduction in total production.