State pumps Sh5 billion to improve food security

Tina Dooley-Jones, Acting Mission Director, USAID

The Government will spend Sh5 billion in the next five years to improve food security and access to nutrition.

The investment by the Ministry of Agriculture is informed by the disturbing figures of ten million Kenyans in hunger-stricken areas, contributing to malnutrition in children.

A key component of the initiative is the blending of different kinds of flour by millers to provide food that is highly nutritious. This is in addition to the mandatory fortification of maize to improve nutritional quality.

“Last week we held discussions with millers on this issue. They are working with the ministry to come up with an ideal combination of cereal flour for sale,” Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett said.

In a speech read on his behalf by Agriculture secretary Anne Onyango at the opening of a two-day National Agri-nutrition Conference in Nairobi, Bett said the Government had undertaken measures including initiating food security resilience programmes.

At the event, USAid Regional Mission Director Tina Dooley-Jones said there was need for agriculture projects to include a nutrition element. “Over the past five years, the US government through the feed the future initiative has invested more than $225 million (Sh23 billion) in supporting Kenya’s agriculture sector and nutrition support,” Dooley-Jones said.

She said this approach will ensure agriculture, health and other sectors come together to find solutions to under nutrition.