Kenya cabinet authorises US$100 mln to fight drought


Kenya’s cabinet said it had authorised an emergency expenditure of nine billion shillings (US$100 million) to buy food for victims of drought in parts of the country.

The cabinet also set out strict conditions for the import and sale of genetically modified (GMO) maize, restricting imports to millers only, for processing and not for planting.

The world’s worst food crisis is devastating large areas of the Horn of Africa including Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia and it is estimated that over 10 million people could face extreme hunger, Reuters reports.
“the cabinet today considered the food situation in the country and authorised an expenditure of 9 billion shillings to provide supplies to Kenyans who have been hard hit by the current drought,” said a statement from the president’s office.
“The Cabinet also instructed that there be strict management of GMO food imports.”

A maize supply shortage due by poor rainfall has forced the Kenyan government to zero rate the commodity’s import until the end of the year and allow GMO maize into the country for the first time.

Kenya is expected to import 4 million 90-kg bags of maize (360,000 tonnes) in the six months to December to plug a production deficit. (US$1=89.65 Kenyan Shilling)