The HealthyFoodAfrica Kisumu Food System Lab aims to enhance African Leafy Vegetables (ALVs) and fish value chains for diverse, safe, nutritious and affordable food for urban poor in Kisumu.

Author: Robert Ouko

Using an interactive, multi-stakeholder approach, the lab is working with different stakeholders and actors along the two value chains to achieve its goal. A number of food system actors in the fish and ALV value chains such as producers, traders, transporters, consumers, and processors, have been identified, and constantly being engaged in an inclusive and egalitarian discussion to address value chain constraints believed to be limiting the production, marketing, and consumption of these two commodities.

FSL Kisumu uses multi-stakeholder engagement to improve diets in Urban Kisumu – Kisumu1
Fish value chain actors in Kisumu Food System Lab.

The lab has been engaging policy makers, development partners, and other researchers working in Kisumu, specifically from Kisumu County government and development agencies in an inclusive and holistic discussion to streamline different views and perspectives in order to improve diets of consumers in urban Kisumu, especially the resource-poor consumers, through increased production and consumption of ALVs and fish.

As a result of multi-actor engagements, a coordinated multi-stakeholder platform will be formed. The platform aims to bring together the different stakeholders from varied value chains who will form working groups in the wider platform. All stakeholders working on food system issues within the Kisumu County will be part of the platform. This includes project teams from FAO, GIZ, Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT and the County Government of Kisumu, to mention a few.  The proposed multi-stakeholder platform would be coordinated by County Agricultural Steering Committee which is also coordinating the implementation of the Agriculture Growth and Transformation Strategy at county level. The network also works as a platform for co-learning and sharing of experience.

The lab also embraced the multi-stakeholder approach to identify and map intervention’s areas i.e Obunga and Manyatta informal settlements. Through this network, discussion is still on to identify potential investors and participants in the implementation of our planned interventions such as nutrition education, awareness creation, and training, urban gardening, setting up an aquaponics system among other nutrition-sensitive value chain activities.

FSL Kisumu uses multi-stakeholder engagement to improve diets in Urban Kisumu – Kisumu2
The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT team meeting Director of Agriculture-Kisumu County.

Taking into consideration the needs and abilities of various interested stakeholders and food system actors increases the applicability and effectiveness of activities and raises the chance for successful implementation in our lab. Multi-stakeholder engagement in our food system encourages equal participation, transparency, accountability, and wider reach among various stakeholders involved in ALV and fish value chain, thus critical in realizing our specific objectives which include:

  • To promote sustainable production of healthy and nutritious food products, especially African Leafy Vegetables (ALV) and fish
  • To promote consumption of safe and nutritious commodities, especially ALVs and fish
  • To improve the efficiency and functioning of food chains by connecting value chain actors along the ALV and fish value chains

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