The cultivation of African Leafy Vegetables (ALVs) in Kisumu County is increasing by the day, giving rise to new investment opportunities in appropriate preservation techniques, seed banks, and laboratory analysis of the nutrient content of AIVs.
Other investment opportunities include the installation of cold rooms, varied methods of cooking, training of Agri-Nutrition trainers and lead farmers, and production equipment including irrigation kits, Boreholes, and water pumps.
The AgriFoSe2030 project is already developing a training manual on sustainable urban agriculture food systems in Kenya. The manual covers the production, marketing, and consumption of traditional vegetables.
AgriFose2030 is a partnership between the University of Nairobi (UoN) Food Agricultural Organization FAO, Mazingira institute, Kisumu, and Nakuru county governments.
In this project, smallholder farmers and small-scale traders in Kisumu County, together with key county government and non-government actors, are developing and implementing an inclusive urban food system governance strategy that enables better county food and nutrition security.
A platform for city-to-city learning was set, and Nairobi City shared its experience in developing and implementing the food system strategy.
The workshop also allowed sharing of results of the traditional vegetables supply/value chain study as well as sharing the status of the training manual for traditional vegetables
During the workshop on the governance of food systems for improved food and nutrition security, Prof Cecilia Moraa Onyango from UoN said that the manual which will be launched in the next few weeks covers the importance of traditional vegetables in Kenya.
“The manual covers production requirements which compass food safety concerns, step-by-step production and post-harvest guide of each vegetable, it encompasses decision making and keeping track of activities which make the farm records.” Prof Moraa said.
Consultation meetings on the manual have been done, and drafting and review of the manual are ongoing even as the final layout printing and sharing of the manual awaits.
During the workshop, Kisumu County got an opportunity to learn from Nairobi County about its food governance system.
“Besides improving community nutrition, the production of green leafy vegetables can support sustainable enterprises for farmers and retailers.” Mrs Rose Anyango Kisumu Agri Nutrition officer said.
During the workshop, the need to sensitize and educate the populace was discussed as most people hardly eat AIVs due to a lack of reliable information regarding their nutritive value and limited availability, which contributed to the misinformation.
The public needs to be aware that vegetables have higher quantities of nutrients and numerous substances linked to the prevention of cancer and diabetes than exotic vegetables such as cabbage or lettuce.
Some studies found that the AIVs contain essential vitamins, particularly A, B, and C, and minerals (such as calcium and iron) as well as supplementary protein and calories.
The high protein and vitamin contents in these vegetables can eliminate deficiencies amongst vulnerable populations like children and pregnant women.
People suffering from diseases such as high blood pressure, HIV and AIDs, cancer, and hypertension are advised to consume AIVs because of their medicinal value.
Dr. Samuel Omondi said that the AgriFose focuses on African Indigenous vegetables, production, value addition, marketing, and Waste management. It’s a program that started on June 2021 and ends in December 2022.
The goal of the project is to contribute to the improvement of the governance of the food system comprising production, value addition, marketing, and waste management with a focus on AIVs for the enhancement of food and nutrition security in Kisumu.