Kenya Food Security Outlook, December 2018 to May 2019

Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes likely to be widespread due to below-average short rains season

KEY MESSAGES

• In marginal agricultural areas, the October to December short rains season has been significantly below average and short rains crop production is expected to be 70 percent of average. However, surplus long rains production and re-planting of short rains crops by better-off households in some areas have sustained high agricultural labor demand and above-average terms of trade, facilitating food access for the poor. As a result, deterioration in food security is most likely to be gradual, but Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are anticipated to be widespread in the February to May 2019 period.

• Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected to be sustained across pastoral livelihood zones. Although deterioration in rangeland resources is likely to drive earlier-than-normal livestock migration and increase resource-based conflict, above-average goat-to-maize terms of trade, high livestock birth rates, and milk production are likely to enable most households to meet their minimum food needs through May 2019. However, the number of poor households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected to increase in areas most affected by conflict, including Turkana, Samburu, Wajir and Garissa counties.

• Across Kenya, surplus carryover stocks, above-average long rains production, regional cross-border staple food imports, and above-average livestock prices are expected to maintain above-average food access for poor households that rely on market purchases through May 2019. In November, maize prices across key urban and rural reference markets ranged from near-average to 36 percent below the five-year average. The notable exception is in Garissa market, where maize prices were seven percent above the five-year average. Across pastoral markets, goat prices ranged from eight to 59 percent above the five-year average.