News 2008


Kenya Food Security Update


15 Feb 2008

Food insecurity continues to accentuate among populations displaced by post-election conflict as well as among the urban poor, whose employment opportunities have narrowed.

Unseasonable January rains appear to have salvaged some crop in the southeastern lowlands. However, substantial crop losses had already been incurred due to the poor short-rains season, compounding food insecurity from this point forward for the short rains-dependent farmers.

While pastoralists' pasture, browse and water availability have benefited from January rains, food security has visibly declined in the northeast and northwest, exhibited by rising malnutrition and lowered terms-of-trade.

On-going conflict has caused livestock and cereal farm-gate prices to decrease due to constrained market access, limiting household income-earning capacity. In contrast, consumer prices for goods and services have increased.

Overall national maize supply for the July 2007 to June 2008 marketing year is expected to decline significantly, due to a combination of crop failure in the short rains-dependent southeastern lowlands and pre- and post-harvest losses in Kenya's grain basket, which is also the epicenter of the current post-election conflict.