Experts warn of looming food shortage
12 April 2013, 17:57
Nairobi - Kenyan experts warned Friday of a looming food shortage due to prolonged political campaigns and heavy rains that have disrupted transport and farming activities across East Africa.
Kenya Society for Agricultural Professionals (KESAP) chairman Paul Mbuni told Xinhua that the destruction of infrastructure such as roads and bridges would reduce food supplies and lead to food insecurity towards the end of this year.
"If the current rains continue with the same intensity for the next three weeks, we expect food shortages and escalation of food prices in May and June this year," he said.
Moreover, former Agriculture Minister Sally Kosgei said increased political activities had disrupted farming activities in the Rift Valley, the country's grain basket, which could contribute to a food crisis.
"Most farmers, especially in the North Rift region, shied away from tending to their farms in good time for fear of the unknown," she said.
Mbuni said there was an urgent need for the government to step in to restore the destroyed infrastructure and explore means to make farm inputs available to all farmers at an affordable cost.
He said small-scale farmers had been the hardest hit as most of their farming was carried out in the open, exposing their produce to torrents and flash floods.
Flash floods have caused at least 32 deaths, displaced 18 633 others and resulted in widespread destruction of property and infrastructure, as well as disruption of key activities, such as farming and education.