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Kenya to lose billions following the locust invasion

Kenya will lose farm produce worth Ksh 13.6 billion in 2020 following the worst locust invasion in history.

Additionally, the torrential rainfall that caused floods and the lockdown order to curb the spread of coronavirus will cost the country’s economic performance.

In a report to the Senate Agriculture Committee, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said 29 counties lost almost 82, 801 hectares of food crop.

The report further states that 88,460 households faced problems from the covid-19 pandemic and floods. Kenya currently faces a severe food security problem.

Concerning the coronavirus, the report says food production in the country will face a significant set back this year. This follows the underutilization provided input by most households.

“The percentage loss was approximately between 70 [and] 90 percent depending on area and type of crop. Overall, the country is expected to lose an estimated Sh13.6 billion worth of crop production during the year,” reads the report in part.

Impact assessment

Although the ministry is yet to assess the areas affected by locusts, it says the country will lose about 40 percent of its food production.

Therefore, the government will have to step in and maintain its production capacity subsequently.

Despite the movement restrictions, Mr. Munya has assured Kenyans of enough food supply in the country.

To address the issue of food security brought about by flooding, the government has given out seedlings and high-quality traditional planting materials to boost the capacity of food production.

Additionally, the Ministry of Agriculture has set aside 72 metric tonnes of rice seeds, which farmers will receive.

The ongoing interventions will center around access to fertilizer and edible seeds, post-harvest marketing and handling, and access to capital.

Nutrition value

Mr. Munya further said the foo and nutrition security remained stable since domestic supplies and the price of food remained steady.

The report says that by May, the country had 4.5 million bags of beans, 1.1 million of rice, 12,200,814 bags of maize, and 2.9 million of wheat.

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