Population growth piles pressure on food demand

Business Daily Kenya:   Nicholas Waitathu The growing urban Kenya population is expected to trigger high consumption of high value food pr...

Business Daily Kenya: 

Some of the maize flour brands participating in the subsidy programme. Photo/Ayub Muiyuro

 Nicholas Waitathu

The growing urban Kenya population is expected to trigger high consumption of high value food products particularly meat, milk and eggs.

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) representative in Kenya Gabriel Rugalema told People Daily that consumption of milk and meat is likely to increase by 170 per cent by 2050.

“The country will have to invest adequate resources in the livestock sub sector to enable production of high value food products to feed the growing population,” said Rugalema.

At a time when the country is facing shortage of food commodities, Rugalema warned that the country will be faced with unprecedented growth in the demand for food in the next 30 to 40 years. Currently the country is grappling with high shortage of maize, sugar and milk leading to skyrocketing prices.

In 2050 ,the population he added will reach about 96 million, up from 46 million today out of which 41 million people will live in urban areas as compared to current situation.

Rugalema made the remarks during the launch of the FAO project on Africa Sustainable Livestock (ASAL 2050) in Nairobi last week. The programme is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Other factors he said that will work against the food production include urbanisation, mining and infrastructure development. To tame the challenges, Rugalema stated that value chain players will have to work on enhancing productivity.

“The increasing demand for livestock products will be happening in a complex, dynamic environment. The biggest element here will be climate change and improving productivity against the frequent floods, increasing outbreak of emerging and re-emerging diseases and conflicts between livestock keepers and cultivators,” he added.

Agricultures, Livestock and Fisheries cabinet secretary Willy Bett said assured that government has invested heavily on transforming the sub sector by addressing the challenges associated with improvement of breeds, production capacities, productivity, availability and use of quality land among other measures.

“Key challenge facing the livestock sector is lack of water, low pasture and poor health. As of today, the livestock is estimated to use 255 million litres of water annually. Extrapolation suggests that nearly 650 million litres of water will be used by livestock system in 2050. This is bearing minds that Kenya is water deficit country,” said  Bett.

Bett said Kenya being a net importer of red meat and other animal products requires a comprehensive approach how to increase productivity in order to meet the growing demand.

The post Population growth piles pressure on food demand appeared first on Mediamax Network Limited.

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