The devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and some of the subsequent measures taken by the government to reduce its high rate of transmission among the public, has had a negative impact on Agriculture.
It has been observed that there is a slight increase in fertilizer prices in some regions, low purchasing power of farm inputs among farmers due to lack of credit services, sub-optimum use of farm inputs such as fertilizer and agro-chemical and limited access to extension services.
Traders and transporters as well face various challenges such as accessing the farms and markets due to restricted movement and lockdown imposed in major towns.
To address the aforementioned challenges, the government through the MoALFC formed the Food Security War Room (FSWR) in April to support Kenya’s COVID-19 response. FSWR is the County Coordination and Food Security Committee made up of the key sector Ministries and Council of Governors under the Chairmanship of MoALFC Cabinet Secretary Hon. Peter Munya.
This has led to formation of various sub-working groups which convene twice per week to tackle emerging issues affecting food availability, market access, input supply and food prices and advice the food security committee. The main focus is on major food and cash crops such as potatoes, maize, rice, tea and beans.
Among the key interventions include maintaining flow of produce from farms to markets and access of food by consumers, managing input price increase, support of continuous extension services to farmers among other issues.
Source/Credit: National Potato Council of Kenya NPCK