By Lorraine Anyango.
A follow-up meeting by Kisumu County Scaling Up Nutrition Business Network (SBN) embarked on increasing membership to the network.
The SBN aims to engage and mobilize businesses at a global and national level to act and invest responsibly and innovate in responsible and sustainable action in emerging markets to improve the consumption of safe food and make good nutrition more aspirational, accessible affordable, and available for all people.
During the meeting, about 40 businesses engaged in nutrition in Kisumu started the process of registering as SBN members.
The meeting resolved to increase membership through aggressive campaigns and outreaches aided with packaged registration information on different mediums including short videos targeting small and medium-term enterprises involved in the food systems and nutrition value chain.
The packed content will be enriched with data from the just concluded Nutrition Investment case, spelling out the payback amounting to the benefits of nutrition as well as unfolding the nutrition situation in Kisumu.
Mr. Peter Milo, Chief of Party USAID Advancing Nutrition challenged the participants to identify areas of intervention requiring capacity building and linkages to benefit the sector.
The SBN forum also provides learning opportunities. During the meeting, Mr Samson Oando from Kenya Institute of Business training took the participants through foundational thinking before setting up a business.
“You must have consistent successful image formation of exactly what you want to do before engaging in business.” He said.
“The SBN will be linking, Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Organizations and Multi-Sectoral coordination platforms to advance investments in nutrition.” Mrs. Joyce Nyaboga Advancing Nutrition, strengthening advisor said.
This follow-up meeting comes after SUN Business Network was established in Kisumu in November 2022. SBN aims to reduce malnutrition in all its forms, by engaging and supporting businesses to act, invest and innovate in responsible and sustainable actions and operations to improve nutrition.
It further mobilizes towards sustainable actions in emerging markets to improve the consumption of nutritious and safe food for all people.
The nutrition business community was also sensitized to the gains of having their businesses registered to operate legally in Kenya.
Mr.Milo, encouraged the use of varied communication mediums to educate the business community on the processes of having their businesses and companies registered in Kenya.
During the forum sponsored by USAID Advancing Nutrition in partnership with Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) International and the Kisumu County Department of Trade, the participants cited challenges in the process, including a lack of understanding and resources to undertake the registration.
Mrs. Rael Mwando Kisumu County nutrition coordinator took participants through the investment opportunities that did exist to reduce nutrition disparities. Armed with data from the recently concluded multi-sectoral nutrition investment case, she let the participants know that for every shilling they invest in nutrition, they accrue 6 shillings in return.
The SUN Business Network is one of the avenues to enhance private-sector investments in nutrition and public-private sector investments. The SUN strategy 2021 – 2025 proposes strategies for advancing private sector participation as emphasizes the importance of a food systems approach, including food fortification, to increase access to healthy diets; and emphasizes the underlying importance of consumer demand and consumer purchasing power to diet quality.