More Kenyans are expected to starve in the next 14 days, this following 70 per cent maize deficit in state reserves.
The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) have only 1.3 million bags, against a demand of 4.6 million bags.
This is bad news to a country that is already facing a cute starvation, with more than 1.3 million people in over six counties in need of urgent food, water and medication.
Ironically, the maize shortage is being experienced at the time when farmers in the country’s grain basket regions of Rift Valley and Western are harvesting.
However, most of them have vowed not to deliver their produce to NCPB unless the government buys a 90kg bag from them at Sh3000, up from Sh2300 it has offered.
Two days ago, farmers in Rift Valley demonstrated in Eldoret in a bid to push the state to reconsider the price upwards.
Even so, the government has attributed the sorry food state to poor rains witnessed during planting season in most regions in the country.
Currently, 2kg packet of maize flour is retailing at an average price of Sh104, down from Sh110 in September but prices are expected to hit the roof starting next month.
Although the government has the option to import to fill the deficit from Uganda which produces more than it consumes, the move is expected to attract huge outcry from local farmers who are already selling their produce at loss to middlemen.
The food security threat in Kenya is made worse by the current dry spell that is expected to last up to December.
This threat is coming less than a week, after the world marked Food Day on 17th October with a theme, ‘climate is changing’.
With the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates indicating that 820 million people are facing chronic hunger globally, 1.3 million of them from Kenya, it means that the country is accounting for 0.16 percent of the world’s total.