The coronavirus pandemic is likely to cause food shortages as of the most efforts are being directed at the health sector, Nandi Governor Stephen Sang says.
The county government, he said, working with farmers and cooperative societies to increase production and enhance agricultural diversification.
The governor pointed out that there was a need for the national and county governments to provide incentives to farmers to increase production and boost food security amid the Covid-19 menace.
“There should be an elaborate action plan to ensure that the country is food secure in the aftermath of the coronavirus effects,” he said.
Incentives that will lower food production costs, including availability of affordable inputs and other operational mechanisms and creation of markets, will encourage farmers to produce more and prevent a food crisis.
Looming food crisis
The governor noted that a food crisis was looming in some regions where farmers have reduced their production and also defied calls by their leaders to expand their enterprises.
“Unless farmers in the high agricultural regions are given support and motivation by both the national and county governments to fully invest in cereals, dairy and horticultural farming, the country could face food scarcity in the coming months,” Mr Sang warned.
He noted that residents in the old Western and Nyanza provinces heavily rely on dairy and cereals produce majorly from Nandi and other places in the North Rift and encouraged farmers to scale up production to provide more food and also boost their earnings.
“As we continue to combat Covid-19 pandemic, we have asked farmers to grow more food during the current planting season to enhance food security,” he said.
Governor Sang was speaking at Kiminda Farm in Emgwen Sub-County, where he unveiled tractors and specialised farm implements to support farmers through a subsidy programme. The tractors will be hired out at subsided rates.