@TheStar

Kenya can attain food security

5 days ago, 14:39

By: Lewis Giles

The last one year has been a tumultuous time for Kenyan agriculture. A prolonged drought, armyworm invasion, presidential elections and a food subsidy programme to ensure Kenyans do not go hungry. Kenya tackled these challenges head-on and weathered the volatility, having learnt a number of lessons.

The task of providing affordable food for more than 48 million Kenyans should not be underrated. It was arguably the single largest food import programme in recent Kenyan history, if not ever. This mission required the collaboration of all actors along the international

and Kenyan food supply chain. Of course, with an operation of this scale, there were challenges and hiccups. Initially, there were reports of inadequate supply of subsidised flour to some of the more remote locations and on some supermarket shelves. The port of Mombasa strained under the extra cargo and quickly became congested so that importers’ vessels waited as long as one month for a berth. At more than Sh1 million per day demurrage, the private sector faced a bill running into hundreds of millions of shillings. Now that the subsidy programme has ended, Kenya is looking forward to how it can improve the food security situation and mitigate as many hazards as possible.

The next season does not come without its risks. Farmers are expected to battle with armyworm and are reported to lack funds to buy inputs as a result of delayed payments from the NCPB. Kenyan millers are also waiting for billions of shillings owed to them as a hangover from the subsidy. As a result, millers’ liquidity is in crisis, reducing their ability to purchase raw materials that could eventually force them to cut production, exacerbating fragility of food security.

The fertiliser subsidy programme continues with the aim of facilitating improved access to fertiliser at affordable prices to help increase yields. Fertiliser adoption is consequently increasing and innovative blending plants are coming online to add further to improving soil quality and fertiliser effectiveness to specific crops and soils. However, fertiliser is only one element of a successful and functioning food system.

World agricultural yields continue to increase and crop prices decrease as a result of improved use of technologies and scientific research. Meanwhile, Kenya is lagging behind but its advantage is the ability to tap into this already available knowledge and expertise.

Irrigation technology has turned parts of the world considered deserts into productive land able to grow two or three crops a year. Seed technologies have led to exponential yield increases, improved tolerance to drought and lower application of chemicals.

Market linkages between farmers and buyers are crucial to develop efficiencies in the Kenyan food chain. The government cannot be left to do everything on its own. Encouraging private sector competition Read More


Category: oped opinion news topnews

Suggested

21 hours ago, 23:45
@DailyNation - By: Peter Kagwanja
Matiba’s legacy lives on in a new generation of Kenyan leaders

Matiba, who climbed Mt Kenya 18 times, combined his love for adventure and mentoring. ...

Category: oped opinion news
21 hours ago, 23:39
@DailyNation - By: Gerry Loughran
Shrines aim to help grieving, but this one provokes fury

The practice of creating outdoor shrines is common in continental Europe. ...

Category: topnews news oped opinion
21 hours ago, 23:39
@DailyNation - By: Otieno Otieno
Chebukati can’t see he is not trusted to serve vested interests

But this IEBC must go down as not only the most vulnerable, but also outright suicidal. ...

Category: topnews news oped opinion
21 hours ago, 23:39
@DailyNation - By: Editorial
Kenneth Matiba, others deserve honour

Mr Matiba was totally broken by the system for refusing to be cowed. ...

Category: topnews news oped opinion
21 hours ago, 23:45
@DailyNation -
The cutting edge

Let’s be truthful and appreciate people when they are alive. ...

Category: oped opinion news
1 day ago, 16:32
@TheEastAfrican - By: Jenerali Ulimweng ...
The Castros are gone, but the Queen and Trump are not what the world needs

It might help if Trump is removed from power so he does not meddle in Cuba’s affairs. ...

Category: topnews news oped opinion

@TheStar

Kenya can attain food security

5 days ago, 14:39

By: Lewis Giles

The last one year has been a tumultuous time for Kenyan agriculture. A prolonged drought, armyworm invasion, presidential elections and a food subsidy programme to ensure Kenyans do not go hungry. Kenya tackled these challenges head-on and weathered the volatility, having learnt a number of lessons.

The task of providing affordable food for more than 48 million Kenyans should not be underrated. It was arguably the single largest food import programme in recent Kenyan history, if not ever. This mission required the collaboration of all actors along the international

and Kenyan food supply chain. Of course, with an operation of this scale, there were challenges and hiccups. Initially, there were reports of inadequate supply of subsidised flour to some of the more remote locations and on some supermarket shelves. The port of Mombasa strained under the extra cargo and quickly became congested so that importers’ vessels waited as long as one month for a berth. At more than Sh1 million per day demurrage, the private sector faced a bill running into hundreds of millions of shillings. Now that the subsidy programme has ended, Kenya is looking forward to how it can improve the food security situation and mitigate as many hazards as possible.

The next season does not come without its risks. Farmers are expected to battle with armyworm and are reported to lack funds to buy inputs as a result of delayed payments from the NCPB. Kenyan millers are also waiting for billions of shillings owed to them as a hangover from the subsidy. As a result, millers’ liquidity is in crisis, reducing their ability to purchase raw materials that could eventually force them to cut production, exacerbating fragility of food security.

The fertiliser subsidy programme continues with the aim of facilitating improved access to fertiliser at affordable prices to help increase yields. Fertiliser adoption is consequently increasing and innovative blending plants are coming online to add further to improving soil quality and fertiliser effectiveness to specific crops and soils. However, fertiliser is only one element of a successful and functioning food system.

World agricultural yields continue to increase and crop prices decrease as a result of improved use of technologies and scientific research. Meanwhile, Kenya is lagging behind but its advantage is the ability to tap into this already available knowledge and expertise.

Irrigation technology has turned parts of the world considered deserts into productive land able to grow two or three crops a year. Seed technologies have led to exponential yield increases, improved tolerance to drought and lower application of chemicals.

Market linkages between farmers and buyers are crucial to develop efficiencies in the Kenyan food chain. The government cannot be left to do everything on its own. Encouraging private sector competition Read More

Category: oped opinion news topnews

Suggested

21 hours ago, 23:45
@DailyNation - By: Peter Kagwanja
Matiba’s legacy lives on in a new generation of Kenyan leaders

Matiba, who climbed Mt Kenya 18 times, combined his love for adventure and mentoring. ...

Category: oped opinion news
21 hours ago, 23:39
@DailyNation - By: Gerry Loughran
Shrines aim to help grieving, but this one provokes fury

The practice of creating outdoor shrines is common in continental Europe. ...

Category: topnews news oped opinion
21 hours ago, 23:39
@DailyNation - By: Otieno Otieno
Chebukati can’t see he is not trusted to serve vested interests

But this IEBC must go down as not only the most vulnerable, but also outright suicidal. ...

Category: topnews news oped opinion
21 hours ago, 23:39
@DailyNation - By: Editorial
Kenneth Matiba, others deserve honour

Mr Matiba was totally broken by the system for refusing to be cowed. ...

Category: topnews news oped opinion
21 hours ago, 23:45
@DailyNation -
The cutting edge

Let’s be truthful and appreciate people when they are alive. ...

Category: oped opinion news
1 day ago, 16:32
@TheEastAfrican - By: Jenerali Ulimweng ...
The Castros are gone, but the Queen and Trump are not what the world needs

It might help if Trump is removed from power so he does not meddle in Cuba’s affairs. ...

Category: topnews news oped opinion
Our App