- Food security experts say crop yields continue to drop leading to an annual deficit ranging from 20 per cent to 40 per cent.
- As a consequence, Kenya has increasingly depended on imports to meet its food needs.
Kenya heavily relies on smallholder farmers, who contribute 70 per cent of the country's food supply.
However, crop yields have consistently fallen below population requirements, resulting in an annual deficit ranging from 20 per cent to 40 per cent. As a consequence, Kenya has increasingly depended on imports to meet its food needs.
Recognising the significance of food systems transformation, Food Security Specialty from the Ministry of Agriculture Dr Mary Mwale, emphasised the need for transformative strategies in the future food system.
She spoke during the Foresight for Food System Transformation (FoSTr) workshop, held in Nairobi this week.
The workshop brought together key stakeholders from across the food system to tackle Kenya's pressing issue of food security.
The workshop commenced with remarks from various stakeholders, highlighting the importance of foresight analysis in building resilience and improving decision-making processes.
First Secretary of Food and Water Security at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Pim van der Male said, "Foresight analysis can significantly help to build stronger resilience in food security for the people who need it the most. Foresight is thinking about the future to improve decision-making today."
In emphasising the need for the food systems transformation, IFAD Country Director Mariatu Kamara, highlighted that Kenya is currently transitioning towards a proactive approach to tackling the pressing issue of food security.
The rising costs of fuel and fertilisers have contributed to an increase in food prices, making it increasingly difficult for many Kenyans to afford a healthy diet.
“Shockingly, 36 per cent of the population lives below the national poverty line, and a quarter of children suffer from malnutrition. Furthermore, the country has experienced its fifth drought cycle, underscoring the urgency of shifting from reactive to proactive measures,” Kamara said.
With financing from Netherlands through IFAD, FoSTr provides an essential decision-support mechanism through scenarios and foresight analysis. This contributes to decision-makers and key stakeholders in the food system.
The programme is implemented by the University of Oxford's Environmental Change Institute, Wageningen University & Research, and key partners in the international Foresight4Food network.
FoSTr country facilitator in Kenya Wangeci Gitata-Kiriga said they are initiating the foresight process for food system transformation within Kenya.
She said in addition to addressing food systems challenges, the workshop aims to contribute to Kenya's national food systems pathways following the UN Food Systems Summit.
“By actively bringing in foresight, Kenyan food system actors can together actively shape their future sustainable food systems,” Kiriga said.