25 November 2008

Kenya’s Food Crisis

While crisis has become a newer part of our vocabulary, this is part of daily life in Eastern Africa.

Kenya Food Crisis Worsens
By LUCAS BARASA Posted Tuesday, November 25 2008 at 22:51

The country is in a serious food crisis, with only 1.2 million bags of maize remaining as strategic reserves instead of the usual four to six million bags, the Government has announced. And the current high price of maize flour could only come down after two to three weeks, Agriculture minister William Ruto said on Tuesday. Addressing journalists after a meeting with millers at his Kilimo House office, Mr Ruto, however, assured consumers that there was no cause to worry as the Government had put in place measures to address the food crisis.

Read On…

If There's No Solution, Brace Yourselves for Food Riots
By JAINDI KISERO Posted Tuesday, November 25 2008 at 19:30

I don't like commodity marketing boards. Nor do I accept the idea of giving bureaucrats the responsibility of dictating producer prices and setting quotas for the amount of maize and wheat which millers have to buy from the local market. More than 10 years after the cereals sector was liberalised, it remains festooned in stifling controls, quotas, administratively-set producer prices, "infant industry" taxes – all those elements of the command economy of the yesteryear. The reason we are teetering on the brink of food riots right now is bad policy. Indeed, the rate at which the price of maize meal has risen is a complete outrage. On Tuesday, long queues started forming in front of the major stores in Nairobi, signalling that some consumers had resorted to panic-buying.

Read On…