Food and Agriculture organization (FAO) through the project dubbed AgrInvest seeks to promote the African indigenous vegetables value chain in a bid to mobilize more investors and upscale the production.
The African indigenous vegetables are key in this project due to their great impact on food and nutrition security which is part of the big four agenda of the government, the resilience, investment and employment opportunities to youths and women.
The project targets counties such as Kisumu, Vihiga, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Eldoret, and Nakuru that have been earmarked for their potential in production of the indigenous vegetable.
According to the Inclusive Value Chains Sub Program leader Mr. Tito Arunga, FAO is committed to promoting the value chain in this program in order create more investment opportunities to the people.
Following the study by FAO Kenya on the value chain, a stakeholders’ forum was organized today at the Grand Royal Swiss in Kisumu, to pursue the input and views of the actors within the value chain drawn from the said counties to chart on formalizing structures along the value chain right from production to the market.
The FAO Agri- business Expert, Mr. David Makongo said African indigenous vegetables are usually unavailable during the dry-season. Therefore, the value chain needs to be strengthened. Based on this premise, the program intends to have established structures which include cold storage, agricultural centers, organized transport infrastructure that will enhance quality production.
The deliberations focused on access to finance by the farmers to consistently produce in large scale, aggregation and processing where suitable business models should to be crafted and solutions to challenges on distribution, market access and branding were delved into.
However, the stakeholders pointed out that issues such as quality seed supply, seasonality in production, post-harvest handling and finding ready market are the major challenges they are still grappling with that needs to be addressed.
By; Emily Mikwa