In the last 6 months, Kenya has been battered by a series of threats.
First was the locust invasion that started around November/December 2019, the worst in 70 years, which left hundreds of acres of farmland decimated. The FAO estimates that the second wave of invasion is just beginning, with a swarm 20 times worse. These new swarms appear to be defying spraying strategies. As new crops are coming up, this spells a huge threat for food production and looming hunger this year.
To add to that, the country experienced unprecedented rainfall that started in October 2019, with above-normal rain in most parts of the country. This trend has continued in 2020, with major flooding observed in the third week of April 2020, causing flooding, mudslides, destruction of property and many lives lost. Farmers, who had already plated hoping for bumper crops have lost seed and fertilizer, a situation that further dims the food production prospects in the country.
COVID-19 has come with many challenges, not only related to disruption of global supply chains but also reducing productive output, because of reducing labour input for many in the agriculture value chains. Access to inputs such as seed, fertilizers and agrochemicals as well as farm implements has also become much more difficult. Movement of food across borders has been restricted, affecting food distribution and access. The current outlook points to a much longer recovery period, with a return to normalcy post-covid-19 predicted to be some 18 – 24 months from today across the globe.
The triple threat facing Kenya will reach crisis proportions in May-June, towards the 2020 harvest season, piling enormous pressure on the food system whilst threatening the food security of households, majority of whom are smallholder farmers. Given Kenya’s level of food insufficiency, especially for the main staples, there is a need to put in place concrete plans to avert the huge disruption that is about to be experienced.
Have we reached a tipping point that will break the food system leading to chaos and widespread hunger?
Join us in discussing options and strategies
- Series: Navigating the Pandemic
- Webinar Topic: Locusts, Floods & COVID-19: The Threat of the “3-Plagues” on Food Security in Kenya
- Time and Date: Tuesday, 19 May | 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm (GMT+3)
The webinar will touch on the following key topics:
Date: Tuesday, 19 May 2020
Time: 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm (GMT+3)
Register on the form to get the link to the webinar.