State to provide relief food to the needy

State to subsidise food during emergency period of coronavirus outbreak.

In Summary

• Government in urgent need of food from any person, agency, institute or organisation that may have stocks for sale or other use.

• It will be given to the poorest of the poor as relief food. 

Maize in a warehouse.
Maize in a warehouse.
Image: FILE

The government will give food to acutely hungry households during the Covid-19 pandemic.

.It is currently mapping the areas of greatest food insecurity.

In a notice to county governments on Sunday, Agriculture PS Hamadi Boga said the government is developing strategies to ensure smooth supply of staple, nutritious affordable foods for the majority of the population.

“In order to manage the food security situation during the emergency period, there is a need for urgent collection and timely sharing of data and information across all levels of governments,” Boga said.

The PS called on counties and other partners likely to have surplus staple foods to urgently provide data on the volumes and current prices.

The food items include rice, maize, beans, green grams, pigeon peas, wheat, millet and sorghum.

In the letter, Boga said CECs from the targeted counties should undertake data validation and sharing the targeted staples.

The targeted counties are Busia, Bungoma, Kakamega, Kisumu, Kisii, Migori, Siaya, Hom Bay, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Bomet, Nyamira, Nandi, Kericho, Narok, Nakuru, Kiambu, Muranga, Kirinyaga, Embu, Meru, Nyeri, Laikipia, Nyandarua, Taita Taveta, Kwale, Kilifi, Machakos, Kitui and Makueni.

He said they will also be establishing food sources from any person, agency, institute or organisation that may have stocks of food for sale, preservation or other uses.

The food needs to be accessed quickly by the government.

He urged CECs to develop simple, rapid communication tools to track food availability on a weekly basis to monitor stock levels.

Counties should compile urgent reports to the county commissioner or assistant (sub-county) commissioner for transmission to the national office," the notice read.

He said throughout the emergency, the ministry will remain open to provide additional guidelines to facilitate urgent data collection and sharing.

“The main issues to be addressed urgently are the provision of food subsidies to targeted food-insecure Kenyans and ensuring millers and key food processors access commodities with minimal disruption," Boga said.

(Edite by V. Graham)