Kenya doesnt need famine relief,she needs smart food policies

Women line up for food after famine in Northern Kenya

Every year we read the same story of hunger in the horn of Africa. Two things have always made Kenya hit international headlines: Famine and post-election violence.

And every year we run to the world for support.

“The world should ramp up efforts to help millions of people facing starvation across the Horn of Africa due to a severe drought, the UNICEF and a senior British official urged Sunday,” reports AFP.

Around 10 million people are facing starvation in the Horn of Africa which has been hit by one of its worst droughts in decades.

After touring Kenya’s drought-affected regions, UNICEF chief Anthony Lake and British International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said fleeing Somali families and local residents were in dire need of assistance.

“We have seen some derisory offers from rich European countries. The whole international community … should now realise the scale of what is happening in the Horn of Africa and put their shoulder to the wheel and do everything they can to help,” Mitchell told reporters.

“It is a terrible thing in our world today that a baby should die from lack of food.”

And our big brothers are out to help. Britain on Saturday promised 52 million pounds (59 million euro, 73 million dollars) in emergency aid. Germany also pledged a further five million euros for the crisis.

But the question of food security in Kenya should be looked at critically. It is time that the country try to take agriculture seriously through deliberate measures to guarantee food security.

It is time that farmers are given subsidies to help them grow crops. Last week I toured parts of Germany and everywhere you go there is large chunks of land with food crops.

European Union heavily subsidizes their farmers to and that’s why you will never hear of hunger stories here.

The Kenyan government should also focus on encouraging people to release farms for large-scale production. The tragedy in Kenya is we all depend on our father’s small piece of land which we subdivide every year in the process killing productivity.

My guess will be in the next 10 years we will even face greater hunger pangs if we continue with this form of subsistence farming.

We should strive to put more money into irrigation and not paying salaries for public servants.

Every year when famine strike in Kenya and the Horn of Africa we hit the world headlines,acres of air time is dedicated to us. And every where you go people ask you “Are you from Kenya? Is your family ok”

We need to fight hunger through policies and not empty rhetoric.


About Kenya Reporter

The other side of the news.

Posted on July 18, 2011, in General News. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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