Food security among persons living with disabilities is critical in enabling the development of local, sustainable, and resilient urban food systems.
Meet Madam Caroline a beneficiary of the cone garden from Kisumu West Sub County who outlines the benefits she has reaped since the establishment of a cone garden in her homestead.
Caroline admits that getting vegetables from her rural set up has not been easy because they don’t grow vegetables, instead they purchase vegetables from the local markets of which they are not certain on how they are produced and even handled while in transit to the market.
Besides, she adds that buying vegetables is expensive yet one needs vegetables in all the meals for nutritional values.
The cone garden Initiative supported by FAO in collaboration with County department of Agriculture, she says has improved access to quality vegetable closer to her house. Time spent in going to the market can be used for other economic activities.
According to Madam Caroline, both her immediate and the extended families have benefited from the farm fresh harvested vegetables. She has also decided to venture in poultry keeping from the savings that she used to buy vegetables from the market.
“The money I used to buy vegetables from the market, I will use it to buy chicks by next week so that I can start keeping poultry as I used to” said Madam Caroline.
Caroline’s request to FAO and County Government of Kisumu is that more PLWDs be brought on board to raise community awareness on the importance of producing own quality foods and adopting healthy eating habits since it is safe and convenient.
Her daughter who is a youth appreciated FAO for such an initiative that she admitted is anew innovation that boosts food security and encourages savings. She said it is convenient in harsh temperatures and in poor soils. She therefore promised to create awareness of the same among the youths.
Madam Jane Akinyi who is also one of the PLWDs in the neighborhood was also grateful to FAO for the initiative saying, “Thanks to FAO, I can now get vegetables within my reach any time even at night, I just get out of my house and pick vegetables, cook and eat,” said Madam Akinyi.
On her part, The County Agri- nutrition Officer, Madam Rose Owenga commended Caroline for making effort to increase the number of cone gardens from two to four. She encouraged her to plant other varieties like onions and coriander that would also act as insect repellent hence protecting the vegetables from destruction by pests and for enriching her foods.
By: Emily Mikwa