Diverse, Safe, Nutritious and Affordable foods for the urban poor in Kisumu

The Republic of Kenya is located in Eastern Africa. In the Western part of the country, right next to Lake Victoria, lies the city of Kisumu. It is the third largest city in Kenya and the region provides a suitable environment for agricultural and aquacultural activities.

The prevalence of informal settlements in Kisumu is high. In these settlements, food poverty reigns and diets are not nutritious: many people consume mainly maize-meal. Food traders earning about 4000 KES/month (=40 USD) navigate the food system by using credit and reselling food stuff in smaller quantities to make it accessible for the urban poor. Fish is exported and at the same time frozen fish is imported from China; fish production doesn’t meet demand.

FSL Kisumu cowpea leaves farm
FSL Kisumu: cowpea leaves farm

Farmer groups in Kisumu’s neighbouring counties (Vihiga, Busia) sustainably produce African Leafy Vegetables (ALVs) and are in need of markets for their produce. The Lake Victoria and the fish production potential offer opportunities for sustainable food system diversification with safe, nutritious and affordable foods. Therefore, the Food System Lab in Kisumu focuses on diversifying nutritious food products and increasing incomes for urban poor.

Specific objectives

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


  1. Organizing multi-stakeholder workshops and trainings to build trust within the ALV and fish value chains while empowering women and youth
  2. Piloting innovative urban gardening techniques and establishment of aquaponics
  3. Developing of nutrition educational materials and improving the dietary quality of urban poor consumers
  4. Strengthening value chain governance and actor linkages within the ALV and fish value chains to create efficiency along the chains therefore reducing the commodity/product costs at the consumer end
  5. Developing novel products and processes within the ALV and fish value chains

Kisumu, Kenya