- The strategies are the Kisumu County Food System Strategy and County Agri- Nutrition Strategy 2023/27.
- While presiding over the official launch, county First lady Dorothy Nyong’o commended the development partners FAO, GIZ, USAID, Practical Action and Maseno University for their support in realizing the same.
Kisumu County government has launched two strategies that will provide a framework on how the county can be food secure at the same time improve nutrition among its residents.
The strategies are the Kisumu County Food System Strategy and County Agri- Nutrition Strategy 2023/27.
While presiding over the official launch, county First lady Dorothy Nyong’o commended the development partners FAO, GIZ, USAID, Practical Action and Maseno University for their support in realizing the same.
She also lauded the multisectoral approach that went into the production of the strategies.
She encouraged the people to remain committed to its urgency in implementation.
Raising concern about the alarming percentage of those who are food insecure, Mama County also added that there is a high percentage of malnourished people.
she is optimistic that the implementation of the strategies will make a fundamental difference in the lives of the people
According to the CECM Agriculture Ken Onyango, the Food Systems Strategy encompasses a range of actors with interlinked activities such as production, aggregation, processing distribution, consumption and disposal.
He said the strategy is anchored on the policy hence it will help in enacting relevant laws concerning food systems.
"Such would include the increase of affordable farm inputs, provision of climate-smart agriculture and resilient adaptations, Development and expansion of physical infrastructure, market digitization and improved behavioural practices related to dietary intake among others."
He noted that the policy will further help them enact relevant legislation that is going to anchor food systems in their laws at the same time increase affordable inputs through enhanced e subsidy and other extension services.
"This will also help us in improving behavioural practices related to dietary intake as a way of addressing both food and nutritional security.
He said they want to make Kisumu County to be food secure and believe the intervention they are putting in place will ultimately lead to food security at the household level.
Hamisi Williams, the Assistant FAO Kenya Representative programs said they were happy that as the first phase of the Urban Food Systems project is coming to a close, Kisumu County has moved with speed and launched the strategy.
Williams said the next point they are looking at now is how to support the process of implementation of the strategy itself.
According to Tim Mwangi from Practical Action, food systems are a complex situation and hence require a multi-sectoral approach.
Mwangi said these strategy documents provide the framework and an enabling environment for young people and SMEs in agribusiness to emerge and take up opportunities, thrive, create jobs for young people and feed the increasingly urban population.
"As practical action, we champion a food system that is regenerative, profitable, and resilient to climate change and indeed this is well articulated in the strategy. This is the first step in the right direction."
Mwangi added that they commit to continue working with the county government to move beyond the strategy into implementation.
"We have learned a lot in the past five years on effective modalities to engage young people in agribusiness. This is through working with the Department of Agriculture to enhance adoption of regenerative agriculture practices and uptake of innovative business models for instance black soldier fly rearing that supports both waste management and sustainable food production in addition to jobs created."
He noted that as part of disseminating and sharing the lessons learnt, they shall be organizing a conference in September within this county.
The conference, he said, will bring together various stakeholders in the food system space.
"We look forward to the support from the county Government and other partners for this event to be successful."