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High staple food prices and low livestock prices increasing household food insecurity

  • Key Message Update
  • Kenya
  • January 2018
High staple food prices and low livestock prices increasing household food insecurity

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In January, as seasonally expected, dry conditions prevailed over the pastoral areas, and only some of the southernmost marginal agricultural areas received scattered rainfall. Overall, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes persist across the majority of pastoral and marginal agricultural areas. However, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes continue in parts of Isiolo and Tana River due to poor food and income availability.  

    • Below-average forage and livestock body conditions across the majority of pastoral areas, with the exception of Turkana and Marsabit, has led to atypical and significant drops in livestock prices. Prices range between 7 – 24 percent below the five-year averages, limiting household purchasing power. Prices have also been depressed due to the oversupply of livestock for sale in the market, as January is the time that households seek to earn school fees.  

    • In the marginal agricultural areas, fruits and a variety of short cycle crops are available for consumption. The maize crop is at different stages of development, and in some areas, like Meru, Embu, Taita Taveta, and Makueni, is experiencing moisture stress. Millet, sorghum, beans, cow peas, and green grams are mostly in good condition and at flowering or podding stages of development. Fall Armyworm infestations have been reported in several counties, with early detection and control efforts ongoing.

    • Despite wholesale staple food prices dropping seasonally with the harvests, prices remained unseasonably high in December in some markets. Maize prices remained within average in Eldoret and Mombasa but were 10 percent above average in Nairobi and Kisumu due to low household stocks, and excluding Mombasa, dry bean prices were 14 – 19 percent above average across urban markets. The National Treasury has indicated that the retail price of flour is set to increase by 27 percent, following the end of the maize subsidy program, which will significantly constrain poor household access. 

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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