Kenya’s food security remains stable despite COVID-19 pandemic: UN official

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Workers pick tea leaves at a plantation in Nandi Hills, in Kenya's highlands region west of capital Nairobi, November 5, 2014. REUTERS/Noor Khamis/File Photo
Workers pick tea leaves at a plantation in Nandi Hills, in Kenya’s highlands region west of capital Nairobi, November 5, 2014. REUTERS/Noor Khamis/File Photo

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said on Thursday that Kenya’s food security situation remains stable despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tobias Takavarasha, FAO representative to Kenya told Xinhua in Nairobi that the corrective measures were taken early enough to cushion consumers.

“The agricultural sector was given exemptions on restrictions that were imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 and Kenyans took advantage of it,” Takavarasha said on the sidelines of the launch of the alternative justice systems.

Takavarasha observed that the country’s food security situation is currently able to meet the needs of the population through local production and imports.

He noted that the economic and financial measures that Kenya put in place early in the year have also enabled the country to withstand the negative effects of the pandemic.

Takavarasha said that Kenya has resources and capacities to produce enough food to feed itself but due to a number of factors such as a rapidly growing population coupled with droughts and floods it has not achieved the goal.

He observed that production of maize, which is the country’s staple food, has also progressed well by taking advantage of the rains.

According to the FAO official, the east African nation is also making strides in diversifying away from maize into other crops such as sorghum, potato, rice and beans.

He said that successful diversification of diets will also be enhanced through government measures such as robust agricultural extension services as well as development of markets to provide farmers with distribution channels for the new crops.

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