Food prices in the country are expected to rise over the coming days following the closure of the Kenya- Tanzania border as a measure to curb cross-border transmission of the Covid-19 virus.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, while addressing the media on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, stated that the country would experience a gap in the supply of vegetables in the country.
"Largely what we get from Tanzania is vegetables. We also used to get grain and maize, but most of it is now going down south. Therefore the gap we will experience is the supply of vegetables from Tanzania," Munya stated.Agriculture CS Peter Munya speaks at the National Agriculture Summit at Safari Park Hotel on Wednesday, February 26, 2020
He further urged Kenyan farmers to grow the vegetables, tomatoes and onions, as to try and fill the deficit.
CS Munya stated that Kenya was not food secure and that the situation would be compounded by the delays at the border between the two countries.
The Agriculture CS explained that the Covid-19 pandemic had affected the supply chain of food in the region and within the country, noting that the demand is likely to outweigh production, leading to an increase in the prices.
"We are not food secure. First of all, we don't produce enough food to feed our selves and we have to import. Now in the current situation with Covid-19, there are many constraints within the supply chain that makes it quite difficult to bring food from outside and at the same time also access what is within the country," Munya stated.
He however assured that the Ministry of Agriculture had formed a committee and established a situation room that would help monitor the availability of food in the country, and deliver a weekly report.
The CS attributed the shortage of food in Kenya to the recent adversities faced, most notably the locust invasion, that has destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres worth of food crops across the country.
"We are busy intensifying our containment measures before the locusts mature and cause more damage. We are also prepared for any eventuality in case we get invasions from other countries. We have stockpiled chemicals and we have enough aircraft that we can utilise at very short notice to deal with them.
"We have a team which we commissioned and is doing an assessment on the ground to see how much damage was caused by the invasion and the measures we are going to take to restore livelihoods to the families that were affected, and we will get a report by June 15, 2020," Munya pronounced.
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