Food production declined

Production of food crops in the country has declined steadily in the past two years, the current economic survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) has indicated.

The report revealed that production of maize had plummeted from 42.5 million bags in 2015 to 37.1 million bags in 2016.

During the period, the Economic Survey 2017 indicates that production of beans dropped from 8.5 million bags to 8.1 million bags, while production of drought resistant crops such as millet and sorghum, cereals and leguminous crops recorded significant drops.

The Nakuru County Director of Statistics, Peter Kamau, while speaking during the African Statistics Day celebrations on Friday said KNBS was committed in collecting and disseminating relevant and timely data necessary for planning and policy formulation in the country.

At both the County and National levels, we need to make planning and policy decisions based on evidence gleamed from professionally collected and analyzed data. If that is done, then we will easily resolve most of development challenges that bedevil our country, said Kamau.

However, all was not gloom in the sector as the country fetched Sh.101.5 billion in fresh horticultural exports in 2016 up from Sh.90.4 billion the previous year, while volume of milk production increased from 615.9 million to 650.3 million litres over the same period.

The survey attributes the steady decline in production of food crops to unfavorable weather patterns, particularly during the second part of last year when the country experienced near failure of short rains.

Volume of sugar cane deliveries to millers declined from 7.2 million tons in 2015 to 7.1 million tons in 2016, which KNBS indicates arose as a result of dry weather conditions.

Production of Tea and Coffee in the Country, the Economic Survey 2017notes, registered an 18.5% and 10.8% respectively.

Kamau noted that gaps in data collection hindered proper planning and that the KNBS was working with educational and research institutions, community based organizations, corporate and individuals in streamlining data collection.

We are very keen on tools and methodologies used in data collection to ensure accuracy in statistical planning. KNBS will continue with its legal mandate of quality data control and coordination at National level, he said.

Source: Kenya News Agency