Exploring Cash Transfer as an Instrument for Food Security in Kenya
Cash transfer schemes in which beneficiaries receive a monthly payment in cash are relatively new in Kenya. This paper uses available secondary and primary data collected from senior personnel from government ministries and donor organizations involved in financing some of Kenya’s cash transfer programmes, reviews the historical background of cash transfer programmes in Kenya, the nature and focus of these programmes, the role played by the development partners and the government, the selection and other management aspects related to the programmes from the initial pilot programmes to cover all sections of the Kenya population that need it. The paper further looks at the issue of whether cash transfer programme can be transformed into a key instrument of implementing the article 43(1)(c) of the Kenya constitution 2010 that guarantees food security to all Kenyans as part of the country’s social and economic rights.The paper concludes that cash transfer can play a big role in providing the economic access and therefore contribute to increased food security of the most vulnerable members of the Kenya society such as the elderly, orphans, people living with disabilities and those considered to be the hardcore poor. The paper recommends that the government implements the proposal of the country’s “Social Protection Strategy 2009-2012”, to the extent of a Cash Transfer programme for all the vulnerable groups in Kenya. The paper also recommends that the amounts being given be increased form KES 1000 to KES 2,000 per house-hold.