By: Emily Mikwa
Five groups within the Kisumu County’s Urban Food systems Project, today received Ksh 1.55 million worth of equipment to boost their businesses.
The equipment include: refrigerators, incubators, ovens among other poultry equipment that will help in the management of food waste, and safety, production of day-old chick while also ensuring value addition on food products.
The support is the second batch which is part of the 7Million grant where 15 groups were identified to benefit after making successful application.
The delivery of the third batch of equipment is underway and this will sum up to Ksh.7 million grant for Kisumu County under the urban food systems project.
The aim of the Urban Food systems project is to promote innovative actions within the urban set up, value addition activities and food production.
According to Mr. David Makongo, the FAO cluster leader for Kisumu, the project has lasted for 3years in both Kisumu and Nairobi cities. So far $ 2.1 million has been spent in the project of which most of it has gone into the software and the rest into hardware.
He added that the purpose of the project is to support small holder farmers and traders to take advantage of the big market opportunity in the city based on the challenge that Kisumu is a net importer of food items.
He is optimistic that the equipment donated by FAO will go along way in supporting the food systems actors to move to the next level in terms of value addition to serve the big market opportunity created by the city.
Mr. Makongo asked the County Government to continue supporting the actors on how to run their businesses, revenue and how to exploit the market opportunity in the city.
While presiding over the handing over of the equipment, The Acting County Secretary who is also the CECM for Public Service, Administration and Participatory Development, Madam Judith Aluoch, thanked FAO for the good gesture and also congratulated the actors who won the grant.
Speaking on behalf of Governor Nyong’o, she expressed gratitude to FAO for considering Kisumu for such investment. She said the donations will make a difference in the lives of Kisumu residents since not only the actors will benefit but also others will benefit indirectly from the end product that will be delivered.
She reiterated that the good gesture is about enriching the processes, quality of goods and safety that the beneficiaries will get. “Our fish needs to be eaten in a good and hygienic condition.” Says Madam Judith.
Going forward, she called on FAO for a continued support through partnerships and collaborations, due to the conducive work environment created by Governor Nyong’o.
On his part, the CECM for Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries, Hon. Kenneth Onyango thanked FAO for investing Ksh. 7 million in both software and hardware that impacts positively in the lives of the people of Kisumu.
He said that their support on food systems in the city, resonates well with Governor Nyong’o’s manifesto, whose top in the ten-point agenda is to ensure Kisumu is a food secure County.
He further appealed to the beneficiaries to use the equipment to uplift their businesses in order to remain sustainable and afloat.
The Chief Officer Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr. John Likoko also expressed gratitude to FAO for their continued support in development of value chain, capacity building and value addition equipment.
He called on the beneficiaries to take advantage of the support and take value addition to the next level.