By Lorraine Anyango
The Kisumu Agri nutritional implementation strategy (CANIS) has been launched; the next step is turning the strategy into action.
The launch was marked with a notable presence of stake holders across board led by the Kenya National Government, Kisumu County Government officers and partners in the food systems who sent congratulatory messages to Kisumu for being the first county to domesticate the document.
The goal of the strategy is to contribute towards the sustainable reduction of high malnutrition levels through coordinated nutrition Sensitive Agriculture actions by state and non-state actors and empower communities to produce and consume adequate, safe, diverse, and nutritious foods.
The Agri-nutrition activities prioritized in the document will be implemented within five years at an estimated cost of Ksh 254.75 million.
To successfully implement the strategy, Kisumu County needs partners who can be part of the strategy and learn it as they implement it.
There is also a need to walk in tandem with the private sector as well create an enabling environment for investors who can help in the implementation of the strategy as well as the incorporation of farmers in the process.
The private sector is a fundamental actor in the agriculture space in improving nutritional outcomes, it’s also a powerful force that can sustainably lift people out of poverty and provide employment and incomes for households, especially women and youths.
While launching the CANIS, alongside the Kisumu Food Systems Strategy, Mama County Dorothy Nyong’o spoke confidently of Kisumu’s potential to be the food basket for the region.
She called upon the engagement of community health promoters in the implementation of the two documents as they are in touch with the people at the grass root levels.
“Let’ s take advantage of the scope that we have and do farming so that we can supply food at Kibuye to meet the needs of our population.” She said.
The CANIS domestication has been realized through the support of the USAID Advanving Nutrition flagship project, while the Kisumu Food Systems Strategy document has been sponsored by Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) In partnership with Practical Action.
The County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Agriculture, Fisheries, Livestock Development, and Irrigation, Kenneth Onyango appreciated the support of the partners in the development of the two documents.
Stepping away from the challenges of lack of food diversity, he reckoned that the CANIS will increase access to concepts of safe and diverse nutritional feeds across the value chain.
The dissemination of the CANIS is an important milestone in efforts to reduce malnutrition, hunger, and poverty across Kisumu.
“The CANIS offers a necessary foundation for the county to allocate adequate budgetary and human resources to advance the nutrition agenda in Kisumu.” Mrs. Mildred Irungu from USAID Kenya said.
She added that nutrition-sensitive agriculture is critical because Kenya faced its worse drought on record, an indication that should droughts be more frequent and longer in the future, they will threaten food security.
She added that USAID is already working with Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) to ensure they are aware of the nutritional needs in Kisumu County and work with different sectors to close the identified gaps.
Advancing Nutrition Chief of Party Mr. Peter Milo said that for two years now Kisumu County has demonstrated that a national document can be customized at the county level.
He appreciated the gains registered by the Kisumu Multi-sectoral Nutrition (MSN) Coordination platform MSN and that Kisumu has documents anchor advocacy on nutrition.
The document domesticated will run from 2023-2027 with amid-term review in 2025 and an end-line review in 2027.
The CANIS is expected to offer guidance on strategic interventions for implementing nutrition-sensitive Agriculture programs and the Enhancement of sustainable approaches to food and nutrition security through the implementation of an integrated food systems approach.
It will contribute towards empowering communities to produce and consume adequate, safe
and nutritious foods in Kisumu, to synthesize solutions to malnutrition from an agricultural perspective by focusing on the whole value chain “production to consumption”
The Kisumu CANIS is anchored on six pillars, the first being promotion of leadership, governance, and coordination for Agri-nutrition activities in the county.
The second has to do with strengthening service delivery systems and structures for the provision of equitable and quality nutrition-sensitive agriculture interventions.
The third is to increase the availability, access, and consumption of safe, diverse, and nutritious foods at all stages of the food chain. Then harnessing resources through public-private initiatives to support nutrition-sensitive agriculture interventions.
It also has an objective to enhance and strengthen advocacy and communication efforts with the community, stakeholders, and prospective partners as well as promotion of community empowerment to engage in viable nutrition-sensitive agriculture initiatives.
The High profile launch was graced by Njeri Kibaja , Agri Nutrition Unit Gok ,CECM Education, County Director Practical Action Mr Tim Mwangi, County Deputy Director Mr. Hamisi Williams, GIZ representatives, among other dignitaries.