By Emily mikwa
A three -day public participation on the Kisumu County Food Systems Strategy commenced today at the Tom Mboya Labor College.
The deliberations by the public on the draft that was developed through the support of FAO, Practical Action and Maseno University will go a long way in enriching the fair draft which will be presented to the assembly for ratification then implementation.
The draft lays out the strategies and frameworks that will be implemented by the County Government, stakeholders and development partners to address the gaps in the food system.
The strategy also gives the residents of Kisumu an assurance of consistent and adequate amount of safe affordable, accessible and nutritious food.
During it’s implementation, it is expected to yield results in the food system governance, production, post harvest handling, value addition, infrastructure development , market access and ICT.
While presiding over the official opening of the three day public participation sessions, the CECM Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries, Hon. Kenn Onyango lauded FAO, Practical Action and Maseno University for their support.
In his speech, the CECM noted that Kisumu is the second after Nairobi city to develop a County Food Systems Strategy, in line with the implementation of sessional paper number 1 of 2012 on the National Food and Nutrition Security Policy.
He further added that the policy lays emphasis on sustainable food production systems, support for safe effective food storage, processing and preservation.
It also supports investment in infrastructure, income generating activities, water harvesting, promotion of safe practices in food production, food consumption, dietary indicators and strengthening of nutrition surveillance and implementation of effective food relief and safety nets.
The Kisumu County Food Systems Strategy 2023/27 has been prepared in the context of rapid population growth, urbanization, growing wealth, changing consumption patterns, globalization, climate change and depletion of natural resources.
The MCA Central Kisumu Ward , Hon. Zack Okoyo reiterated the importance of public participation as enshrined in the law. He added that once the fair draft is complete theirs will be to give it a legal framework and take it back for implementation.
On her part, the County Assembly Chairperson on the Agriculture Committee, Hon. Eunice Alando implored on youths to change their attitude towards white collar jobs and instead embrace agriculture to grow the economy of the county.
She also challenged the stakeholders not to be net importers of food from the neighboring counties but to be producers in order to increase the county’s revenue.