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Kenyans increase food security by switching to other food staples

Kenyans have driven up their food security levels by forgoing their usual staples, such as maize and wheat, which have become more difficult to obtain in light of rising prices and environmental damage. Instead, citizens of Kenya are replacing the traditional foods with more readily available options.

"We have seen people panic when there is low maize supply...people hoard, prices go up...when in fact there are other foods that can supplement," Ministry of Agriculture secretary Wilson Songa told Reuters Africa.

Songa said Kenyans have begun to rely more heavily on Irish potatoes and indigenous amaranth, bananas and fish.

The ministry's statistics found that maize and wheat consumption increased by 1 percent over the last year, while rice consumption increased by 14 percent, the news source reports.

A Global Hunger Index report issued in October of 2009 said that Kenya's hunger index went from "serious" to "alarming," though an increase in potato production will boost profitability within a year, according to Reuters.
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