Demographers predict that high population growth rate will leave 77 million Kenyans hungry by 2030. Concern over the population’s effect on the economy is also shared by many economists. The reason being that as the economic growth increases by about one per cent yearly, population is growing at a rate of three per cent.
Peter Nyakwara, director of technical service at the National Council for Population and Development says to be in a healthy position economic growth needs to outpace population growth.
This will allow the government to plan and put in place structures for investing in human capital, he added. Nyakwara said although land is a crucial element in food security, high population growth has led to it being degraded because of encroachment. “Land is a crucial element in food security. Pressure has been put on land by a huge population.
This contributes to a decline in agricultural productivity,” he explained. Official estimates point to over 10 million people that are currently food insecure, and with no access to the right amounts and quality.
Kenya’s population is projected to increase by 1,269,299 people this year to reach 49,167,382 in the beginning of next year. United Nations Population Fund country representative, Dr Ademola Olajide traces fast growth to traditions where many children are still seen as a source of wealth by parents for dowry and household labour as well as social security for parents at old age with a woman giving birth to a dozen children.