Kenya: Research Terms of Reference – Joint Market Surveillance Initiative RCID KEN 2207 (June 2022, V1) – Kenya
In Kenya, about 80% of the land is classified as arid and semi-arid (ASAL), based on the relatively low amounts of annual rainfall received. These cover 23 departments, 9 of them are classified as arid receiving an annual rainfall of between 150 mm and 550 mm and 14 as semi-arid receiving between 550 mm and 850 mm per year. These counties are particularly susceptible to droughts and floods, and with the increasing impacts of climate change, these areas are considered at risk of desertification. Additionally, a large percentage of ASALs have been degraded through deforestation and overgrazing, further reducing the productivity of these lands, threatening food security, livelihoods and biodiversity.
The June IPC update projection for the ASAL region of Kenya, covering the period March to June, indicated that the expected seasonal rainfall amount from March to April to May received in most areas of livelihoods was below long-term seasonal averages and exacerbated by poor spatial distribution. Resource-based conflicts associated with rising food prices due to declining agricultural production that coincides with the peak of the lean season for most ASAL counties. Overall, these factors point to an increase in the number of people facing high levels of acute food insecurity to 4.1 million, from the 3.5 million originally projected for the same period last year. The surge in food prices due to the drop in agricultural production shows the country’s dependence on imports. For example, wholesale maize prices in April in urban benchmark markets were 41-46% higher than the five-year average linked to lower production. In addition, the Ukraine/Russia conflict has had negative effects on fuel prices as well as on the prices of essential foodstuffs.
Community livelihoods are likely to be further impacted, worsening the food insecurity situation, as forecasts continue to predict that food insecurity will last at least until December 2022. This will result in the adoption of negative coping strategies such as the sale of productive assets to find food, health and other basic needs. Education is also likely to be disrupted when families pull their children out of school. Pastoralist communities have started to experience poor terms of trade as food prices rise against reduced livestock prices due to deteriorating livestock body condition. The above is further supported by the FEWS NET Kenya Food Security Outlook Update – February-September 2022, which indicates maize prices are expected to rise 9 to 30 percent above average. five-year period from May to September and are expected to reach KES 3,000-4,650, due to dwindling local stocks and increased dependence on higher priced supplies from neighboring countries. The loss of livestock and below-average milk production will continue to cause dairy availability and prices to fluctuate. the goods.
The resulting drought has affected the majority of the country, with 3.5 million people currently facing acute food insecurity. Additionally, commodity prices have been rising rapidly over the past few months. Food basket commodity prices used to calculate inflation by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, such as maize flour, wheat flour, Irish potatoes, onions, tomatoes, cabbage , kale and cooking oil, increased by an average of 20% in January 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. In this context, cash and voucher assistance (CVA) is a crucial tool for limit the negative impact of drought, but is hampered by a lack of funding and resources. A better understanding of the current degree of market functionality and the composition of the Minimum Expenditure Basket (MEB) is therefore crucial to ensure that CT interventions are evidence-based and have the greatest possible impact, as well as ‘they are able to reach the people who need them the most. In Kenya, there is a lack of harmonized, regular and standard market surveillance that monitors the functionality of markets, prices and availability of products in local markets. The MEB Working Group of the Kenya Cash Working Group has proposed to conduct a joint market surveillance initiative with the aim of providing regular and harmonized market surveillance in Kenya. This will help to make informed decisions for cash transfer programs. The research is designed to harmonize data collection efforts and combine the resources of humanitarian and government actors across ASAL counties, which will lead to greater coverage, efficiency and operational applicability of market monitoring systems. .