The Route We Need To Follow In Order To Achieve Food Security

Kenya should be unapologetic about limiting competing agricultural imports from whichever country into Kenya. FILE PHOTO | NMG

By George Wachira

Food security is a continuous journey to be walked over years of implementing consistent and sustainable strategies which are well resourced and monitored. And this has apparently not been the case in Kenya.

Year after year, and government after government, we have mostly pre-occupied ourselves with historical problems in various crop subsectors (sugar, coffee, tea, maize, among others) which are yet to be decisively resolved, and this has denied Kenya the opportunity of focusing on new opportunities in global markets, practices and technologies.

Agriculture has become the lost opportunity which we wrongly believed was to blossom with devolution. When and why the tables turned and Kenya became a net importer of food (sugar, maize, milk, animal feed inputs, and others) from Uganda and Tanzania is an issue we need our agricultural economists to analyze and give us an honest opinion.

Are we blindly obeying regional import/export trade protocols while others are not? Or has Kenya simply fallen behind in feeding its people and producing surpluses for exports?

For those of us who witnessed the agricultural revolution in the years (1960s) immediately after independence, we observed a country that correctly believed in its ability to make agriculture the main GDP driver, key employment agency and source of incomes for families. National policies, budgets, and political mobilization successfully targeted agriculture as the foundation of national socio-economic development…

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