Prime Minister challenges NESC to find solutions to country’s food crises
Written by PMPS
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Prime Minister Raila Odinga has challenged the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) to find solutions to the perennial food deficit afflicting the nation in the wake of climate change.
He asked the council members to deliberate on possible remedial measure that could cushion Kenyans from high cost of foodstuff caused by supply deficit whenever calamities associated with global warming struck.
The Premier told the 29th council meeting held at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies that solutions must be found to bail the common man out of the food crisis to enhance the living standards of Kenyans.
He decried that about 17.5% of Kenyans suffered from chronic food insecurity and related nutritional deficiencies despite the fact that the nation was an agricultural country.
Odinga regretted that food imports took a toll on scarce foreign currency and urged the council to address the management of the post harvest losses witnessed in recent times to reduce the imbalance in foreign trade.
“As we consider the problem of food insecurity, I urge the council members to address the large post harvest losses that exceed the food imports,” He said.
The Premier attributed the low production in agriculture to over reliance on the now unpredictable rain fed agriculture since global warming shifted the normal climatic patterns.
“We are looking for solutions that will alleviate the suffering of the mwananchi as well as deal with calamities associated with climate change such as floods, drought and other extreme weather conditions,” he said.
Odinga informed the council of the government’s commitment to operationalize the National climate Change Response Strategy to implement policies that could mitigate and adapt to the phenomena.
He also asked the meeting to reflect on the recent decline in annual growth rate after the 2012 economic survey revealed that figures drop from 5.6 in 2010 to 4.4 in 2011.
The premier told the council to interrogate the state of the country’s economy while taking note of the looming global economic crisis in some parts of Europe.
He said, “The council considers its policy agenda, I urge members to reflect on the growth challenge, especially noting the threats from the looming global economic downturn as evidenced by the crisis in Euro zone.”