What’s keeping Kenya from reaching its agricultural potential?

By Kang-Chun Cheng
Posted on Friday, 22 July 2022 11:47, updated on Sunday, 24 July 2022 09:37

A farmer is seen in a paddy field, following renewed interest in organic fertilizer as global prices for chemical inputs skyrocket due to the war in Ukraine, in Mwea, Kenya April 6, 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Kenya’s bustling capital has one of the highest yearly growth rates in sub-Saharan Africa. However, despite having access to a wealth of natural resources and arable land throughout the country, Kenya continues to suffer from food security. What’s holding it back?

The country is currently facing its third consecutive drought since 2020. Estimates say the combination of poor crop and livestock production, conflict over dwindling resources, livestock death and disease, along with hits from Covid-19 will see the number of food-insecure people increase from 3.1 million to 3.5 million – 23% of the population in arid and semi-arid regions, a 48% increase since last August.