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Koskei Predicts June Will Bring Hunger in Kenya

Kenya is a country in Eastern Africa, bordered by Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Though the country is one of Africa’s most successful in crop production, the reoccurring droughts and dry seasons often cause food crises for Kenya’s people. The economy and uneven wealth distribution leaves 50% of the population living in hunger in Kenya.

Felix Koskei, Kenya’s agriculture secretary, estimates that Kenya will face a food shortage beginning in June. Koskei’s concern comes from the lack of maize being produced this year; Kenyans are estimated to eat about 45 million bags of maize a year, but they are currently only producing 40 million bags. Some of the estimates fluctuate because different areas consume more food than others.

Koskei also recognized the food crisis could be due to maize being exported to South Sudan, where Kenyans are able to make twice as much off of a harvest than if the product was sold in Kenya.

During the months before June, Koskei urges “private stake holders to import food and farmers to plant short span crops” to tide over Kenyans. He stated that maize is currently being harvested from the “long rain harvests” to help curb hunger in Kenya. Over 653,000 bags have been purchased so far.

To help during future food crises, Koskei mentioned that the government has arranged “negotiations with two prequalified bidders to start a fertilizer manufacturing plant,” which he estimates will be erected by 2016.

With this manufacturing plant, farmers in Kenya will have the ability to provide food for their families and Kenya will be able to sustain its population.

The possible struggles Kenyans will be facing include malnutrition, starvation and possibly death. With malnutrition, Kenyans will be more susceptible to diseases such as waterborne illnesses and malaria.

– Rebecca Felcon

Sources: The World Factbook, Press TV, All Africa, Action Against Hunger
Photo: Totally Cool Pix