Citing a report from the Food Security and Nutrition Working Group for the Eastern and Central Africa region, the UN's humanitarian agency OCHA said the number of food insecure people in eastern Africa has reduced from 14.9 million in December 2012 to 12.9 million as of June.
The majority of the 12.9 million food insecure people are to be found in parts of Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, conflict- affected areas of Somalia, Sudan, northern Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Tanzania, OCHA said in its latest report received on Monday.
The UN report says food security remained stable but stressed across Kenya despite the early cessation of the March-to-May rains.
â€œMost poor households in both pastoral and south-eastern and coastal marginal mixed farming livelihood zones are likely to meet their food requirements with the favorable July maize harvest,â€ the report reveals.
The assessment comes as Kenya plans to transform agriculture in a bid to enhance food security following good rains which were experienced across the East African nation, especially in its eastern regions in the past three months.
Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Cabinet Secretary Felix Kosgey says the agricultural sector in the country needs a positive transformation driven by positive effects of climate change.
â€œFood security affects all sectors and the government focus is on the agriculture. We need to refocus and built on the gains made in the past,â€ Kosgey said.
Kosgey said the agricultural sector also has the support of farmers and there is a ready market for livestock, fish and agricultural produce.
This, he said, would have an immediate effect on the economy. According to food security experts, food performance of long rains since March has helped improve Kenyaâ€™s food security especially in eastern areas.
Kenya is prone to recurrent droughts, particularly affected are the arid and semi-arid lands in the northern part of the country.
People have little or no time to recover from one drought to the next, and millions who depend on livestock continue to live precarious lives.
Heavy rains, which pounded several parts of the East African nation in April and May, boosted food security with good harvests expected in grain basket region of Rift Valley.
The Nutrition Cluster reports that the number of new admissions of malnourished children to nutrition centers in Somalia has declined by 23 percent in the first months of this year, compared to the same period in 2012.
â€œNew admissions are expected to continue decreasing due to increased food availability after the harvests and decreased incidents of diseases such as acute watery diarrhoea during this period,â€ the report notes.
It, however, reveals that although the overall nutrition situation in the Horn of Africa nation has improved since the 2011 famine, the prevalence of malnutrition remains above the WHO emergency threshold of 15 percent.
According to the report, harvest for most of Uganda is expected to be average, with minimal acute food insecurity expected in bimodal (one harvest season) regions through December.