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President of the Republic of Kenya, William Ruto. (File photo)

Kenya says climate change threatens country’s food security

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Kenyan President William Ruto said on Friday that climate change has become the “biggest threat” to the country’s food security.

Speaking at an agricultural fair in Eldoret, about 280 km northwest of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, Ruto said frequent heavy rains and dry spells have made it difficult for farmers in the East African nation to produce adequate food. “The recent El Nino rains have not only destroyed crops on farms but have also led to an increase in post-harvest losses.”

Due to climate change, farmers have difficulty knowing when to plant or harvest, Ruto said, adding that the government is encouraging and facilitating farmers to adopt climate-smart practices that would enable them to produce food amid changing climate patterns.

Kenya in 2023, along with Ethiopia and Somalia, experienced the worst drought in 40 years, which affected more than 4.1 million people, according to the country’s National Drought Management Authority (NDMA).

The East African country also received El Nino rains between October and December 2023, which led to about 200 deaths, displaced thousands more, and destroyed hundreds of acres of crops.

Kenya is also among the Horn of Africa countries expected to receive enhanced rainfall between March and May this year, which will lead to flooding, according to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Climate Prediction and Application Center (ICPAC).

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