Kenya is advance enough to tackle issues of food insecurity. As a young man in the village of Rapogi, my grandmother’s granary was filled with maize, beans, sorghum, and millet every harvesting. Each harvesting season would come and pass, and the granary still remained filled. Her house had more than enough food; we could walk in at any time and find something to eat.
Article 43, Section (1)(c) of the Bill of Rights of the Kenya Constitution (2010) states that: “Every person has the right to be free from hunger, and to have adequate food of acceptable quality. To monitor progress and targeting interventions towards realization of this goal, an easy to use, but scientifically sound measure of food security is required.”
In this century, most people in Kenya still go to bed hungry because of lack of food to feed on, while some households have to ration their meals because they don’t have enough therefore they save some food for the next meal. Some families don’t have enough money or resources to buy food. For me, going to bed hungry is the most painful thing and it shouldn’t happen to anybody. Whenever I see people throw away food, I remind them that there is somebody somewhere sleeping hungry!!!
Kenya was once known as a country that is capable of feeding her populations without food donations. A hungry nation is definitely unhealthy, unproductive, has high mortality rates, inactive, poor, and the list is endless. We have relied on food donations especially when a drought disaster strikes. It is not easy to know the climate patterns in Kenya, the weather patterns have changed over the years but I still believe Kenya should be well prepared enough to meet the needs of her citizens by providing enough food. Best methods of interventions and sustainable programs should be encouraged to help have sufficient food during all seasons.
Change of weather patterns can cause surprises that would make the populations vulnerable to food insecurity. Farmers should be informed about the weather patterns early enough to plan for the seasons. The meteorological department should provide details of the weather patterns ahead of time to enable farmers prepare for the planting seasons. Farmers can switch to irrigation when the rains are not sufficient with proper planning. Warnings should be given right on time; our weathermen should be as accurate as possible.
Farmers in different regions in Kenya grow different types of crops. Some grow maize, beans, potatoes, kales, and tomatoes, as food crops. Other farmers grow sugarcane, coffee, tea, sisal, and pineapples as cash crops. All these farmers require more training on the significance of growing food crops as much as they value cash crops. They should isolate some portions of land for food crops. Cash crops are good for money for investments in areas such as education, health, income generating activities; we also require food crops for our body to make our nation grow healthier and stronger.
The government should provide proper infrastructure such as roads, and markets to enable farmers transport and sell their produce with ease. Bad roads can hinder transportation; therefore perishable foods such as kales, tomatoes, and potatoes get rotten. Best food storage methods can be introduced. How do we get better methods of storing foods from one season to another? It is painful to walk into Wakulima market only to see traders throw away tomatoes, kales, and cabbages because they are rotten.
Kenya is blessed with the freshest water Lake Victoria, which has enough water that can irrigate the whole country. If we can transport oil thru pipeline from Mombasa to Eldoret, is it too hard to pipe water into the farmlands? Just provide the pipes until the edge of the farmlands and let the farmers take care of the other pipes within the farms.
Meanwhile, let’s plant trees and more trees to preserve our ecosystem and bring more rains. What are your thoughts about food insecurity in Kenya? Let’s discuss here.
Article to read: Food Security Portal