Skip to main content

Declines in rangeland resources leading to earlier-than-normal livestock migration

  • Key Message Update
  • Kenya
  • January 2019
Declines in rangeland resources leading to earlier-than-normal livestock migration

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Performance of the October to December short rains was highly mixed across Kenya, leading to below-average crop performance and inadequate replenishment of rangeland resources in rainfall-deficit areas. In many pastoral and southeastern marginal agricultural areas, rainfall was below 85 percent of normal, while rainfall in the rest of the country was above average. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are likely to persist in most pastoral and marginal agricultural areas through May, and an increase in the number of poor households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected in localized areas of Turkana, Wajir, and Garissa by February.

    • Aside from Isiolo and Mandera, early declines in water and rangeland resources in pastoral zones have caused trekking distances from grazing areas to watering points to increase to 25 to 50 percent above average. This has led to earlier-than-normal livestock migration in Turkana, Marsabit, Samburu, Wajir, and Garissa, which is likely to increase conflict incidents. Despite these trends, household purchasing power and food access remain stable as the goat-to-maize terms of trade was 10 to 50 percent above the five-year average in December.

    • In marginal agricultural areas, prevailing crop moisture stress is likely to result in significant total yield losses, though maize crops are currently at different growth stages given erratic rainfall distribution. Along the coast, maize crops are in the early maturing stages. In the southeast, maize crops are in the vegetative stages in moisture-stressed parts of Kitui, Mbeere, and Tharaka Nithi and in the grain filling stages in Makueni. Short-cycle legumes are also at various stages of development, ranging from flowering to harvesting.

    • From November to December, wholesale maize prices were 10 to 30 percent below the five-year average, attributed to consistent cross-border imports, high carryover stocks, and recent above-average harvests from the high and medium agricultural potential areas of the Rift Valley and western Kenya. Despite significant losses from excessive rainfall, dry bean prices remain within the five-year average in Nairobi, Eldoret, and Kisumu; however, prices are 10 percent below average in Mombasa, driven down by cross-border imports from Tanzania.

    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.

    Get the latest food security updates in your inbox Sign up for emails

    The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

    Jump back to top