The Paradox of Kakamega’s food insecurity despite rich agricultural potential

By David Jomo

In a county boasting a rich agricultural landscape, it’s alarming to discover that some community members struggle to put food on their tables. Kakamega County, known for its diverse crop production including maize, beans, sugarcane, sweet potatoes, bananas, cassava, and groundnuts, benefits from favorable climate conditions and fertile soils.

Despite these agricultural riches, sustainable food security remains elusive for many residents. Both the national and County Governments have made efforts to support farmers through subsidized farm inputs, value addition initiatives, and the provision of standardized machinery. While these programs aim to empower farmers, the question remains: why are some still unable to access food?

The Human Toll of Food Insecurity

Recently, I encountered a distressing case of a young man who collapsed after going without food for three days. A diploma graduate from a reputable Technical Training Institute in the region, he embarked on a ten-kilometer journey in search of employment, only to find himself famished and depleted.

Identifying Root Causes

Career Rigidity’Many graduates exhibit a reluctance to explore alternative career paths, sticking rigidly to their field of study. This mindset limits their opportunities and leaves them struggling to find employment.

Substance Abuse- Local brews such as chang’aa and busaa lure young people away from productive activities, trapping them in cycles of poverty and dependency.

Gambling- The allure of quick wealth through betting has ensnared many youths, leading to financial instability and debt accumulation.

A Call to Action

The plight of food insecurity and malnutrition in Kakamega County demands urgent attention. It’s imperative that we address these challenges through multi-agency coordination and targeted interventions. Grassroots organizations should continue their efforts to raise awareness and empower vulnerable communities.

In conclusion, let us not overlook the pressing issue of food insecurity in Kakamega County. By working together and implementing sustainable solutions, we can ensure that every resident has access to nutritious food and opportunities for a better future.

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