Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives calls on farmers and agriculture stakeholders to intensify production and to coordinate efforts to ensure timely availability of inputs, extension support, transportation and value addition as the planting season commences. COVID-19 Protocols and Guidelines have been developed to guide sector actors to make the necessary adjustments to ensure that the agri-food supply chain does not contribute to the increase of COVID-19 infections across the country.
Kenya’s Agriculture export industry was worth KES 144 billion in 2019 with cut-flowers at 104 billion accounting for 72% of the total and earning vegetables and fruits earnings of 27 billion and 13 billion respectively. The sector therefore remains a critical and essential driver of the national economy even in times of the pandemic and could well be the country’s silver lining. The Government is therefore calling upon farmers to produce even more and to other value chain actors to ensure farm produce reach the markets.
Good nutrition is very important before during and after an infection. Infections take a toll on the body especially when these cause fever, the body needs extra energy and nutrients. Therefore, maintaining a healthy diet is very important during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Agrinutrition department of the Ministry is working closely with the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders to sensitize Kenyans on the integral role of nutrition in the fight against the pandemic.
National COVID-19 Nutrition and Healthy Diets Guidelines have been developed and include toolkits with affordable technologies for the creation of kitchen gardens and “Kitchen Garden Starter Kits”. Particular focus is being paid to the most vulnerable communities and groups: children, teenagers, elderly and citizens with lifestyle diseases, counties with highest numbers of malnourishment, and will embed a component of permanent lifestyle change for both rural and urban dwellers.