Kenya's Food Production Declining, Says Minister

NAIROBI - November 15 - Xinhuanet - Food production in the country has been gradually declining for the past two decades - Kenya's Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Chris Obure has said.

The growth in agriculture has remained stagnant or dropped as the population swells - making food unable to keep pace with increased demands - the state-run Kenya Times newspaper Wednesday quoted the minister as saying.

Speaking at the Seventh Biennial Scientific Conference opened here Tuesday, Obure said the agricultural growth rate remained at 3.5 percent in 1970s and 1980s and dropped to negative value of 1.4 percent in the early 1990s.

He added that food production per capita had declined by 1.3 percent annually during the period between 1980 to 1993.

Though Kenyan agriculture research system has developed appropriate technologies to address the trend - he said - agricultural production is still deplorably low as farmers are slow in adopting new technologies due to poor information dissemination.

In August Obure once said that the production of maize - Kenya's staple food - would drop by 43 percent this year due to the severe drought over the past two years.

It is also reported that Kenya would experience a shortfall of 13 million bags - 90 kgs per bag - of maize next year. Enditem

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