Kenya faces a huge decline in corn and wheat production due to drought and pest infestation. Food security is at stake in the country, where corn production is expected to drop 25 percent this season.
East African country Kenya is facing a food shortage following declined in maize and wheat production in the North Rift region, the country’s grain basket, due to the erratic weather and disease outbreaks. Agriculture Ministry of Kenya estimates a 25 percent drop in maize yields for this season, reported Kenyan Daily Nation. Such a decrease in the production means an acute shortage of the commodity this year. Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett said “The annual maize yield could drop by 20-25 percent which will further complicate the already unsteady food security situation,” Experts warn that the shortfall in the harvest of the two source of staple food will impact negatively on most households. Speaking to Daily Nation, an agricultural economist Mr. Jackson Lagat commented “The anticipated shortage of the cereals will push the prices beyond the reach of most households forcing the government to sustain the food subsidy programme,”
The drought situation in Kenya in the marketing year 2016-2017 was a major setback in the efforts by both the national and the county governments to increase corn production. The drought compounded other underlying constraints such as soil acidification, lack of access to improved seeds, and the effects of maize lethal necrosis.