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County stares at food insecurity due to depressed Oct-Dec rainfall

Kitui County Commissioner, Samuel Kimiti is calling for a multi-sectoral agency to monitor the food situation in the county due to the depressed October-December rainfall.
Speaking during the monthly national government service delivery meetings on Tuesday at Multi-Purpose Hall in Kitui, Kimiti expressed concerns over the weatherman’s report, saying that the rains delayed and started in the second week of November despite early warning of El-Nino type of rains starting October.
‘The rains favoured us during the entire national examination period for KCPE and the ongoing KCSE. We had emergency teams on standby to address any challenges such as flooding, washed bridges and marooning of schools in low lands, we are glad that such never came to pass,’ added the County Commissioner.
He said that the depressed rains pose a danger of pushing the county into food deficit, adding that the farmlands may not produce optimally and may lead to severe cases of food insecurity at the household level.
Kimiti called on all government agencies mandated with managing the food situation in the county to swing into action and advise the government on what kind of measures to put in place to ensure that the looming hunger crisis is addressed in advance.
Kitui County Director of Meteorological Services, William Ndegwa said that the wet seasons will be short-lived despite earlier predictions of heavy rains starting October to December due to the ever changing climatic conditions globally.
Ndegwa lamented that the county is set to experience a prolonged dry spell since the rains delayed and would not last any longer as they are expected to come to a close at the end of this year.
‘We will continue to keep the county posted on weather issues to enable the residents plan accordingly in anticipation of any outcome in the future. However, we will have a few wet days this week,’ added the weather man.
Consequently, the green grams glut being experienced by farmers in Kitui counties has exposed disturbing contradictions on domestic production and demand that result in price manipulation.
Statistics by the Ministry of Agriculture indicate that the estimated national annual consumption of green grams stands at an average of 130,000 metric tons, way above the annual domestic supply.
The economic review on agriculture sector conducted between 2014 and 2016 shows that Kenya’s average production of 103,234 metric tons falls significantly below the consumption and trade requirements.
The production shortfall shows that local farmers are yet to satisfy the domestic demand and should not, therefore, be looking for a foreign market for their produce.
By Yobesh Onwong’a

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