June 28th 2017

Top Stories / National

Government downplays millions are starving and assures of food security

“Maize consumption in Kenya is about 3.2 million bags per month, coming to about 40 Million bags annually. This Year (2016), we expect to get 34 million bags from the long rains harvest which is currently underway.

By Tobbie WekesaWednesday, 19 Oct 2016 19:21 EAT

CS Bett addressing journalists today. (Photo: Tobbie Wekesa/Kenya Free Press).

The Government has downplayed the reported cases of millions of Kenyans starving and assured the overall food security situation was stable. The cabinet secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Willy Bett said there is enough food for Kenyans.

The C.S however said that the drought menace being experienced in some parts of the country is as a result of poor rains which have impacted negatively on crop production, pasture, water and livestock conditions. He admitted that about 1.3 million people are in dire need of food in the whole country.

Addressing journalist on the food security situation in the country, the cabinet secretary attributed to the ongoing harvesting of long rain-crops in the major production regions. “Maize consumption in Kenya is about 3.2 million bags per month, coming to about 40 million bags annually. This year (2016), we expect to get 34 million bags from the long rains harvest which is currently underway.

In addition, we anticipate that short rain harvest will add another seven million bags bringing our production at par with the consumption levels,” the CS said.He added that the current maize stocks stands at 9.5 million bags, with most of the stocks being held by households/farmers.

With regard to strategic food reserves, NCPB currently holds 731,000 bags of maize and 548 MT of powdered milk, together with cash equivalent to purchase a further  two million bags. “Soon, NCPB is commencing purchase of maize from main production areas in order to increase strategic reserve stocks,” said the cabinet secretary.

The cabinet secretary said that the government has initiated measures to ensure that all the people affected by the drought menace are attended to as fast as possible. He outlined the measures the government is taking to avert the occurrence of another drought in
future.

Ensuring that farmers access quality seeds suitable for ASAL areas carrying out drought mitigation measures, Purchase of supplementary feeds, disease control, fertilizer subsidy programme, crop and livestock insurance and resilience programmes.

The writer is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press





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