Depressed Rains Threatens Food Security in Kenya

Equity Bank has set aside KSh3 billion loans for the next five years with the aim of reaching 100,000 food crop farmers through its Kilimo Biashara project.

Kenyans should expect depressed rainfall in most parts of the country impacting the agricultural sector according to the Meteorological Department.

In its Climate Outlook for the March-April-May (MAM) 2019 ‘Long Rains’ Stella Aura, Acting Director of Meteorological Services said:

The spatial and temporal distribution of the March 2019 seasonal rainfall was expected to be good over most of the Western sector and generally poor over the eastern sector of the country, especially in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs). However, the existence of the tropical cyclones and the unfavorable SSTs patterns both in the Indian and the Atlantic oceans are likely to result in poor distribution even over the western sector of the country.”

The Meteorological Department says the late onset and poor distribution of the MAM 2019 seasonal rainfall are likely to impact negatively on the agricultural sector leading to food insecurity.

In Africa, parts of southeastern Africa, weather experts have forecasted continued rainfall with Cyclone Idai leaving a trail of disaster that has affected more than 1.5 million people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

However, analysts state that the delays in rains could trigger some pressure on some food as well as electricity prices as the use of diesel-powered electricity increases.

“Even then, inflation is expected to remain well anchored within the central bank’s preferred target band given the transitory nature of the aforementioned risks. This could be further buttressed by persistent stability in the foreign exchange market,” according to CBA Analysts.