Why Kenyans are now eating less rice
SEE ALSO :Kenya’s reliance on donor funds growsDuring the period under review, there were reports of “plastic rice” from China on the shelves of some retail outlets, which may have also prompted consumers to shun the grain. IEA, a think-tank that provides a platform for informed discussions in order to influence public policy in the country, also noted a dip in consumption of maize, largely on account of high costs and a decline in production, pushing Kenyans to embrace alternatives that are relatively cheaper and readily available. In the analysis, IEA noted that per capita utilisation of maize among Kenyans had gone down to 58.2kg in 2016 compared with 64.9kg in 2012. The institute attributed the drop to declining maize production and the subsequent high prices of maize and maize flour. Other foods such as potatoes are also slowly taking over the prized place that maize and maize flour occupied in Kenyan households. “One of the main causes of food insecurity is the decline in food production. For instance, production of maize was 39 million bags in 2014 and 37.1 million bags in 2016, which was in both years below annual average of 40 million bags,” said IEA Assistant Programme Officer, Regulation and Competition Policy Programme Stephen Jairo.
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