Why food should be on the ballot
Close to six decades have passed since Kenya gained her independence. Perhaps this is a reason for celebration, but not in the realm of food and nutrition. Millions of Kenyans are still stretching begging bowls each year for relief food and not to forget the cost of food which has skyrocketed making affordability out of reach for many especially in the urban areas.
According to Famine Early Warning Systems Network, 4-5 million people are in need of humanitarian food assistance. In addition, The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021 estimates that over 13.5 million Kenyans are food insecure. The fact that many Kenyans are hungry should not be ignored, and it is an issue that must be addressed not only as a constitutional right, but also as a moral duty of social and economic justice.
It is time, Kenyans challenged the status quo by demanding from the political class to have the food agenda on the table of discussion. It is time to make that deliberate effort to change the country’s food agenda narrative. We could collectively choose to continue the same perilous path of chronic food hunger or be on the journey towards fulfilling the Human Right to Food as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya, Article 43 1 (c) by questioning policies that do not work and demanding for structural and policy adjustments in the agricultural sector.
Route to Food Initiative in collaboration with other civil society organisations;Inter-Sectoral Forum for Agroecology and Agrobiodiversity (ISFAA), Rural Outreach Africa, The Right to Food Coalition, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), PELUM Kenya, Consumer Grassroots Association (CGA), BIBA, Concern Worldwide, Nutri-Produce, Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN), and BEACON have put together a Food Manifesto, which is a proposition on solving some of the structural and policy issues hindering the realisation of the Human Right to Food. The manifesto brings to fore and debunks some of the myths that have been the stumbling block to food security for decades while providing solutions which can be adopted by political parties in their manifestos or implemented by policy makers both at the national and at county level.
Download the manifesto here.