NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 13 – Kenya has been classified as a food deficit country in the Global Hunger Index 2018 despite the government’s interventions to reduce hunger.
The report indicates that one in every three Kenyans suffer from chronic food insecurity and poor nutrition annually.
In addition, about 20 per cent of the population does not attain the minimum dietary requirements to sustain a healthy and productive life.
Kenya has been ranked among countries that have scored poorly in reducing hunger among their populations.
This report casts doubt on one of the President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big 4 Agenda of making Kenya food sufficient.
The report however shows Kenya has improved in hunger reduction over time but extreme poverty, poor governance coupled with climate change have resulted in growing numbers of people suffering from hunger.
“Despite huge challenges, Kenya has made significant progress in reduction of hunger and under-nutrition rate. The Government of Kenya should build on its successes and make concerted efforts to ensure food and nutrition security for the extreme poor and most vulnerable people,” reads part of the report.
Globally, there has been progress in reducing hunger with the Global Hunger Index falling from 29.2 in 2000 to 20.9 in 2018.
The Global Hunger Index an annual report published by the Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide now in its 13th year, ranks countries based on four key indicators which include undernourishment, child mortality, child wasting and child stunting.
Some of the proposals that have been put forward to combat hunger include prioritising policies and programs that increase productivity, food security, nutrition and resilience of small scale farmers and pastoralists.
Giving food security and nutrition priority at the national and county levels, recognizing the vital role that county governments must play within Kenya’s devolved government structure.
Increased investments in the agriculture sector is also critical in making agriculture more productive.