Effect of covid 19 on food security and finance in Kenya by Daisy Onkoba

Daisy Onkoba
Posted April 9, 2020 from Kenya
Ngong Market
Food supply at Ngong market

The COVID-19 pandemic poses considerable risks to food insecurity, development deficits and limited government capacity.

 

 

Before the emergence of the pandemic, food insecurity was already on the rise in the region due to climatic shocks, livestock,pests and diseases that negatively affected the supply chain of producers and consumers in the country. The desert locust outbreak was also a growing concerns.

As the virus spreads and cases mount, Kenya has taken early action to limit the spread of COVID-19, ordering a 21-day nationwide lockdown for its population of 47 million people starting February 19.

The novel coronavirus has spread widely in Kenya relatively recently compared to other countries, and the number of reported infections so far, with 184 cases and 7deaths as of April 9.

As of late March 2020, the impact of the virus on food security and agricultural food systems is already having significant negative effects on people along the food supply chain from producers to consumers.

As of now, there is less food production of high value commodities and disruption in the value chain.

In the fisheries and aquaculture sector, the implications can vary and be quite complex. For wild-capture fisheries, the inability of fishing vessels to operate (due to limited or collapse of market as well as sanitary measures difficult to abide to on board of a vessel) can generate a domino effect throughout the value chains in terms of supply of products, in general, and the availability of specific species. In addition, for wild-capture fisheries and aquaculture, problems in logistics associated with restriction in transportation, border closures, and the reduced demand in restaurants and hotels can generate significant market changes  affecting prices.

We are already seeing, however, challenges in terms of the logistics involving the movement of food (not being able to move food from point A to point B), and the pandemic’s impact on livestock sector due to reduced access to animal feed and slaughterhouses’ diminished capacity (due to logistical constraints and labour shortages) similar to what happened in China.

Blockages to transport routes are particularly obstructive for fresh food supply chains and may also result in increased levels of food loss and waste. Fresh fish and aquatic products, which are highly perishable and therefore need to be sold, processed or stored in a relatively limited time are at particular risk.

Transport restrictions and quarantine measures are likely to impede farmers’ and fishers’ access to markets, curbing their productive capacities and hindering them from selling their produce.

Shortages of labour could disrupt production and processing of food, notably for labour intensive industries.

Spikes in prices are not expected in major staples where there is supply, stocks, and production is capital intensive, but are more likely for high value commodities, especially meat and fish in the very short term and perishable commodities. On the other hand, where production is available and demand collapses like in some fisheries, prices are expected to collapse too.

In terms of economic crisis, COVID-19 has lead to a reduction in labour force, and affect incomes and livelihoods as well as labour intensive forms of production.

To address the above concern, the government needs to upgrade standards for hygiene,working conditions and living facilities on agriculture and have measures in place to reduce the impact of the food crises that are bound to arise.

 

This story was submitted in response to Dispatches from the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Comments 16

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Leonida Odongo
Apr 10
Apr 10

Dear Daisy

Sad reality on right to food Daisy, not to mention the harassment of women traders in markets and the closures of several markets.Indeed let's brace for bad times ahead.

Thank you for sharing sister

Daisy Onkoba
Apr 22
Apr 22

You are most welcome Leonida

Jill Langhus
Apr 10
Apr 10

Hi Daisy,

How are you and your family doing, dear? Welcome back! Thanks for sharing your concerning, but informative post about the food situation in your country. How could the government upgrade hygiene and working standards? What measures could be implemented to reduce the impact?

I hope you and your family are safe and well, dear.

Daisy Onkoba
Apr 22
Apr 22

Hallo Jill, yes we are safe. Thanks for your remarks

Jill Langhus
Apr 24
Apr 24

Hello Dear,

Great to hear:-) You're welcome!

Ellie E.
Apr 10
Apr 10

Thank you for sharing this informative post!

Anita Shrestha
Apr 11
Apr 11

Thank you for sharing

EmilyLin
Apr 12
Apr 12

Hi Daisy,
Thank you for sharing this! It is always sad to learn about how COVID-19 has affected communities around the world. I agree with your point that the government needs to upgrade standards for hygiene to further keep the outbreak under control. More formal actions need to taken by the government to ensure people's safety.
All the best to you and your family!

Daisy Onkoba
Apr 22
Apr 22

Hallo Emily, Thanks for your remarks

Tamarack Verrall
Apr 12
Apr 12

Dear Daisy,
It is so important that we know what is happening in each others' communities, and how we are doing through this time. These are the new problems that each government and all of us as a world community interconnected, have to find solutions for. What gorgeous farm vegetable bounty your photo shows. So important the those producing/catching/selling food get the support they need. Please keep us up to date on how you and your community are doing.

Daisy Onkoba
Apr 22
Apr 22

Hallo Tamarack, Thanks for your remarks

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi

Hi Daisy,
Thank you so much for sharing your post on the effects this terrible pandemic is having on your community. This is the same problem that we are all facing. Women have become very vulnerable and the effects are only going to get worse unless we can come up with lasting solutions.
Thank you once again and hope you have a blessed Easter Weekend.

Chioma Nwaoha
Apr 18
Apr 18

Hello Daisy ,
Happy weekend
Trust you and your family are safe? Thank you so much sharing.I look forward to reading more post from you .We value and love you .

Daisy Onkoba
Apr 22
Apr 22

Hallo Chioma, Thanks for your remarks

Adanna
Apr 22
Apr 22

Nice one Daisy.

Thank you for sharing.

Love,
Adanna

Daisy Onkoba
Apr 22
Apr 22

Hallo Adanna, Thanks for your remarks