• A total of 289,995 MT including wheat, maize, soybean, and barley were shipped to African countries during February 2023.
• The recipients of these shipments included Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, Libya, and Tunisia.
The food security situation has continued to get worse in Eastern Africa due to delayed rains.
The Food Security Monitor report released by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) showed food insecurity remains high in Kenya due to multiple shocks.
These include a fifth successive below-average rainy season that was short-lived and poorly distributed in space, according to the report.
"This resulted in below-average crop production, poor livestock conditions, and higher exposure to livestock disease,” the report indicated.
However, there were slight improvements in food insecurity across the ASAL areas due to the impact of the rains on the livelihoods in these areas.
“These improvements are expected to last a limited time with the situation projected to deteriorate from March to June 2023,” the report read.
The food security report further showed that there has been an increase in the prices of basic food items and the number of people that cannot produce and or cannot afford food has also increased.
The report showed that much of the East African region continues to experience atypically high food prices due to worsening macroeconomic conditions and persistent low domestic cereal supplies.
In Kenya, overall maize prices in Eldoret and Nakuru are lower than they were one to three months ago. In addition, maize prices were also down 22.57 per cent in Nakuru compared to six months ago.
“These price declines were due to a surplus of about 6.7 million bags based on carryover stocks of 14.2 million bags, an estimated 400,000 bags to be imported from the region by private sector and two million outside of Comesa,” AGRA said in the report.
Globally, 289,995 metric tonnes including wheat, maize, soybean, and barley were shipped to African countries in February 2023. The recipients of these shipments included Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, Libya and Tunisia.
Fertiliser prices were also generally lower in January than they were in the previous one to six months. Specifically, nitrate, phosphate and urea fertiliser prices were lower than in the past one to six months due to low seasonal demands.
NPK fertilisers experienced low increases (0 -5%) compared to three to six months ago, but the prices were lower in January than in December 2022.
The AGRA Food Security Monitor reviews and discusses changes in selected variables and their implications on food trade, and food and nutrition security.
The discussions focus on selected countries including East Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda) and Southern Africa (Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe)
Others are West Africa (Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Togo).
The Kenya Meteorological Department indicates that the March to May period is the major rainfall season (long rains) over most parts of Kenya and much of equatorial Eastern Africa.
The highest seasonal rainfall amounts (greater than 300mm) are normally received over the Lake Victoria Basin, the highlands west of the Rift Valley, the Central and South Rift Valley, the highlands east of the Rift Valley (including Nairobi County) and the coastal strip.
The March-April-May (MAM) 2023 weather outlook shows that below-average rainfall is expected over the Lake Victoria Basin, highlands west of the Rift Valley, Central Rift Valley, highlands east of the Rift Valley (including Nairobi County), coastal region, most of Northeastern and Southeastern lowlands and western parts of Narok.
Generally, near-average rainfall is expected over parts of Northwestern (Central and eastern Turkana), parts of South Rift Valley (Eastern Narok), parts of Southeastern lowlands (Kajiado), and the western parts of Marsabit.