Kenya: Women Most Affected By Increased Cost of Animal Food Products

Nakuru — Women in rural areas and informal sectors are more vulnerable to the increased prices and unavailability of livestock-sourced foods in Kenya and the greater Horn of Africa region, the African Union-InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) has said.

The crisis has been attributed to the ongoing feed and fodder shortage in the region, where at least 8.9 million livestock have died due to drought.

Of those, more than 2 million livestock died in Kenya, eroding livelihoods and leading to a massive loss of income, the AU-IBAR said.

According to AU-IBAR Ag Director Dr Nick Mwankpa, the crisis has been occasioned by climate change, the global COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

“Feeds constitute 60-70 percent of the total cost of animal production, the crises have exposed the significant weaknesses and vulnerabilities in the African feed and fodder input and supply chains,” he said during the kick-off of a five-day high-level workshop in Naivasha.

The workshop has been organised by the bureau in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Mwankpa noted that addressing feed and fodder shortages in the short-term protects livelihoods and ensures business continuity and sustainable livelihoods.”

AU-IBAR Resilient African Feed and Fodder Systems Project proposes strengthening analytical capacity for evidence based decision making and attracting investment, identifying and up-scaling viable existing approaches in addressing the crisis.