The county department of Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries in partnership with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) organized a one day workshop for the Food Liaison Advisory Group (FLAG) Steering Committee at Vittoria Suites Hotel in Kisumu.
The objectives of the workshop were to come up with mission and vision of the FLAG, develop selection criteria for grantees, present revised work plan dates, validation and signing of commitment forms, establish grantees selection, and proposals/names of value chain actors to be visited.
The Chief Officer Livestock and Fisheries madam Rosemary Aluoch while giving her introductory remarks, stated that the food systems are a very complex issue that requires a collaborative and innovative approach. She reiterated the need to create value chains in terms of nutritious and safe food for the consumers.
Madam Aluoch was also optimistic that the rapid analysis of the food systems to be carried out will point out safety gaps that will be addressed since Kisumu is a unique county with 14 wards within urban and 21 other wards in the rural setup. She further urged the implementers of the project to have a transformative mindset and be innovative in engagement with consumers’ needs in order to achieve the objectives of the project.
The Chief Officer Cooperatives Mr. Oganga on his part called on the FLAG members to work as a team. He further advised that much as the team focuses on nutrition and safety aspects of the foods produced, it should also look at a business model that can sustain the project.
While officially opening the workshop, the Chief Officer Agriculture and Irrigation, Dr. Paul Omanga noted that the project has come at a time when Kisumu County is drawing a development plan for the next 100 years and that food system is key in the plan.
He, however, appealed to the residents of Kisumu to minimize the importation of food products and instead increase local production to meet the demands of the local consumers.
“Kisumu must be innovative in the production of local foods other than being chief importers. We, therefore, need to support our producers with innovative ways that can improve food systems in Kisumu.” Dr. Omanga said.
The meeting brought on board the FLAG Committee comprising of technocrats from relevant disciplines from the County, Institutions of higher learning, researchers from both governmental and non-governmental, FAO representatives Rebeccah Wanjiru, Winnie Yegon, local food processors and farmers within Kisumu.
By Emily Mikwa