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Sh2.4b EU aid to fight locusts, assist farmers

Kenya is set to get Sh2.4 billion from the European Union (EU) to assist in the fight against locusts, and support affected farmers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement to the media Tuesday, the EU noted that countries within Europe under the banner “Team Europe” have put together a Sh16 billion package to bolster food security in Kenya and neighbouring countries.

The support, which came from the EU, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden and Denmark, will cover financial and logistical support to farmers and small and medium enterprises.

With more than 20 affected counties, the financial aid will bring relief to farmers whose produce has been lost due to the locust invasion.

“The purpose of the support is to strengthen value chains in the horticulture, dry land crops and dairy sectors. The integration of food security and water programmes is a crucial component of this effort, with the ultimate aim being to build resilience and ensure longer-term food security,” a statement released by the EU read.

Last month, the Food and Agriculture Organization warned that new swarms expected to hatch this month will be up to 20 times larger than the previous ones. It said that this could cause an unprecedented threat to food security in the region.

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