Majority of Kenyans cannot store food until the next harvest

The majority of Kenyans who do farming for subsistence purposes do not store food to last them for a year, a study has revealed.

The survey by Twaweza East Africa affirmed that three out of ten households store some of their crops after the harvest, while one out of ten cultivate crops but do not store any of the produce.

“Among those who store crops, around half say what the store is sufficient to last until the next harvest, and half say it does not last that long. This means just fewer than two out of ten households across the whole country (17 percent) produce and store enough crops to last all year”, the reported noted.

The reason for this is that nothing remains after selling the produce, need for money, and problems with storage.

The study from a special round of Twaweza’s Sauti za Wananchi mobile-phone panel survey was done through random sampling from a database of contacts from previous surveys where they collected from 3,000 respondents between 17 August and August 29, 2020.

It further established that one out of three Kenyan households grows maize, including one out of ten in urban households and rising to half of the rural households.

Beans are also widely cultivated, by one out of four households, rising to one out of three households in rural areas.

A wide variety of other crops are also cultivated, including cowpeas (6 percent), Irish potatoes (5 percent), green vegetables (5 percent), bananas (5 percent), tomatoes (4 percent), kales (3 percent), groundnuts (3 percent) and onions (3 percent).

The study also revealed that one out of ten households, rising a little in rural areas (13 percent) keep dairy cattle, more than any other type of animal. This is followed by indigenous chickens, kept by 8 percent of Kenyan households and 11 percent in rural areas.

It noted that three out of ten households hold two acres or less, while one out of ten holds more than two acres. “Although better-educated households are less likely to engage in agriculture, they are more likely than poorly-educated households to hold more than four acres of farmland. One out of ten households with higher education holds more than four acres, while just 3 percent of those with primary education hold this much”, the report said.

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