Food and nutrition security: challenges of post-harvest handling in Kenya
Presently, close to 1 billion people suffer from hunger and food insecurity. Statistics in Kenya indicates that over 10 million people suffer from chronic food insecurity and poor nutrition, 2–4 million people require emergency food assistance at any given time with nearly 30 % of Kenya’s children being undernourished, 35 % stunted while micro-nutrient deficiency is wide spread. Key among the challenges contributing to inadequate foods include lack of certified seeds, seasonal production (rain-fed), high post-harvest losses and wastages, poor transportation, low value additions which reduce their market competitiveness. The present paper examines some of the underlying causes for high food wastage experience in Kenya and the associated challenges in addressing these problems. The paper also provides an overview of some of the basic solutions that have been recommended by various stakeholders. However, in spite of the recent efforts made to mitigate food wastage, there is still an urgent need to address these gaps through participatory, innovative community based interventions that will create resilience to climate change and enhance livelihoods of smallholder farmers in diverse ecosystems.