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KENFAP PRESENT MEMORANDUM ON FOOD SECURITY

September 23, 2011 3:56 pm

Kenya’s food security status has continued to worsen from 24.3% in 1990 to 42% in 2001.By February 2011 an estimated 2.4 million persons, up from 1.6 million in August 2010, required food and non-food (Kenya Food Security Steering Group, February 2011). Kenya’s food policy since independence has been centered on improving domestic supply of basic foodstuffs, mainly grain crops. This goal of food self-sufficiency was largely attained in the early years of independence until the late seventies after which massive food shortages set in. Since then, the goal of food self-sufficiency and food security has not been attained despite significant policy pronouncements to reform the sector. Generally Kenya has been a low-income food deficit country a regular importer and occasional exporter of grain yet has the potential to be a regional grain basket if agricultural potential is well managed. The causes of food insecurity and the reasons the worsening food situation are many and varied, they include low agricultural productivity due to prolonged drought, inadequate access to productive assets (land and capital), inadequate access to appropriate technologies by farmers, effects of global trade and slow reform process. However, in the recent past other factors have come into play such as exporting maize into the neighboring countries disregarding the strategic reserve balances, misleading data to the general public and allowing the millers to distate the markets of the staple grains.

The farmers in Kenya are concerned about the issue of food security and that the situation is not given the right attention by the relevant authorities despite this being a constitutional right of every Kenyan to access quality food at all times. In last year’s annual general meeting of KENFAP, the farmers resolved to be highlighting key concerns affecting the agriculture sector. Hence the theme for this year’s National Farmers Congress, “Why is there food crisis, Farmers come out to tell their story”. It is in this context that this memorandum of issues of concern is presented to your ministry/office/institution to partner with the farmers of Kenya in resolving the problem of food insecurity. This memorandum outlines the farmers’ perceived solutions to the identified problems. Download: FARMERS MEMORANDUM TO THE GOVERNMENT