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High cost of food hurting families

A trader hawks fruits in Kisii town on 6/7/2021. Traders in the town source most fruits from Tanzania says there is high demand for fruits linked to boosting immunity like lemon which has increased their profit margin due to rising Covid -19 cases. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Health diets in Kenya and other Africa agri-food systems are becoming increasingly unaffordable to many households, a new report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is warning.

According to the latest Africa Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition Report, Africans face some of the highest food costs when compared to other regions of a similar level of development.

Nutritious foods, such as fruits, vegetables and animal proteins, are relatively expensive when compared to staples such as cereals and starchy roots, and, the report argues, some of the reasons for this are systemic.

Evidence presented in the report shows that nearly three-quarters of the African population cannot afford a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and animal proteins.

Over 50 per cent of the households cannot afford a nutrient-adequate diet.

Even an energy-sufficient diet, which supplies a bare minimum of energy and little else, is out of reach for over 10 per cent of the continent’s population.

Overall progress in meeting global nutrition targets remains slow in Africa, according to the report. Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world where the number of stunted children continues to rise.

Although the prevalence of stunting is declining, it is falling slowly. Three of the countries making significant progress are Ghana, Lesotho and Rwanda.

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