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Italian farmers are being brought to their knees by a six-week lockdown aimed at stopping a deadly epidemic in its tracks. They are also suffering a drought caused by the driest spring in more than half a century./COURTESY

Kenya

Agriculture Ministry Proposes Sh670 mn budget to mitigate drought effects 

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 8 – The Ministry of Agriculture’s has presented a Shs670 mn budget to the Treasury which is set to mitigate drought, adverse weather conditions experienced in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid regions.

The State Department of Livestock (SDL), in the latest food security monitoring report, noted that funds will be used to manage the implications of the forecasted depressed rainfall which is likely to deteriorate the region’s food security and nutrition.

“The food security and nutrition situation in most parts of the arid and semi-arid (ASALs) areas in the northern and eastern parts of Kenya is likely to deteriorate. SDL has submitted a drought interventions budget (Aug-Oct 2021 period) of kshs 670 Million and awaiting the release of funds by the National Treasury,” the ministry noted.

The report indicated that livestock in Marsabit, Isiolo, Tana River, Wajir, Turkana, Kilifi, Kitui, and Laikipia counties have experienced poor body conditions which affects milk production and market prices.

“Outlook for the Oct-Nov-Dec (OND) 2021 “Short Rains” season indicates that most parts of the country are likely to experience depressed rainfall. Analysis of the rainfall performance indicates that most parts of the country especially eastern and northern Kenya experienced rainfall deficit,” it added.

As part of the proposed interventions, the ministry says efforts should be directed towards Livestock disease surveillance, control, and treatment, livestock breeds improvement and increased purchase of livestock supplementary feeds.

President Uhuru Kenyatta Wednesday declared drought a national disaster.

Consequently, he instructed the National Treasury and the Ministry of Interior to spearhead Government efforts to assist affected households including water and relief food distribution as well as livestock uptake.

He made the decision after holding a meeting with 85 leaders from the ASAL region led by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani

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