Kenya food crisis set to worsen
Kenya’s food crisis was set to worsen after a fungus wiped out 10% to 20% of its annual rice production, the United Nations said on Friday.
The fungus destroyed 5 600ha of rice in the Mwea Irrigation Scheme in Central Province, known as the rice basket of the country, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
It meant the country, a net importer of rice, would now be forced to buy more supplies against a backdrop of rising global food prices. Rice was up 75% in the last two months while the World Bank reported last week that wheat had climbed 120% in a year.
“This worsens Kenya’s food insecurity as it will make the import of additional supplies even more expensive,” said OCHA spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs.
The new coalition government has directed the National Cereals and Produce Board to sell fertilisers at less than half the current market rate in a move designed to help struggling farmers.—Sapa-dpa.