Kenya experiences second highest food import record

By Hasit Patel

Kenya’s food imports have hit the second highest level in history with food orders from abroad reaching Sh28.73bn in January and February, according to Business Daily Africa.

The figures were only second to Sh37.96bn from a similar period last year when traders took advantage of an import subsidy.

The increase of purchases on food items from abroad were on items such as maize, milk powder and sugar during the second half of 2017 through to the beginning of 2018. It is believed that the results are due to the high cost of food following the biting drought at the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017 that reduced production, meaning higher costs.

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Through a phone call, Dr Timothy Njagi, a researcher at Egerton University’s Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development, said: “Initial indication is that it’s not going to be a good (food harvesting) season. The problem is that it is going to be two bad seasons in a row because the short season from October to December was not a good one.”

“There’s no up-to-date data from Met (Kenya Meteorological Department) and so we are only trying to make out scenarios.”

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