Outcome 1 – Food systems governance through multisectoral platforms

Article 43 of the Constitution of Kenya gives every person the right to the highest attainable standard of health, freedom from hunger, and access to adequate food of acceptable quality. The mission of Kenya’s Nutrition Action Plan (KNAP, 2018-2022; “To reduce all forms of malnutrition in Kenya, using well-coordinated multisectoral and community centered approaches for optimal health for all Kenyans and the country’s economic growth” is devoted to the county-level where county specific County Nutrition Action Plans (CNAP) are in place. Busia county had a functional CNAP 2018/19 – 2022/23 aiming to ensure that the entire county population achieves optimal nutrition for a healthier and better quality of life. However, setting-up of a 2023-2027 CNAP has not yet been a priority.

The idea of a multisectoral food systems platform to be established in line with initiatives already in place in Nairobi (Nairobi Food Council) and Kisumu (Food Liaison Advisory Group) has recently been re-bolstered in Busia after the national elections and first suggestions of potential food systems platforms stakeholders (including agriculture stakeholders, education stakeholders, environment stakeholders, health stakeholders (nutrition coordination), social services stakeholder) were made. A meeting in Kisumu, where suggested food systems platform stakeholders met and exchanged with members of Kisumu’s multi-stakeholder Food Liaison Advisory Group took place on 31Jan2023 further bolstering the launch of a new food systems platform under the umbrella of Busia’s County Agriculture Sector Steering Committee (CASSCOM).

February 20, 2023

Outcome 2 – Increased agroecological production

In November 2021, a group of 23 experts was convened in Busia to select the key value chains for the NICE project in a participatory, multi-stakeholder approach. Different value chains were rated as per the general value chain selection criteria of the project with scoring each value chain on a 3-point scale (1-3) and excluding commodities with a low total score from further consideration. Agreement was achieved on further supporting the following 4 value chains through the NICE project:

  • Poultry
  • Fish (Tilapia)
  • Orange-flesh sweet potatoes
  • African leafy vegetables (spider plant, black nightshade)

42 NICE farmers’ hubs  have been established in the Busia area through NICE since project start, and 10 Good Agricultural Practice training sessions were hold so far for a total of 691 farmers (229 women, 122 youth). Furthermore, NICE set-up 22 demo plots to be used as learning and demonstration centers in the horticulture value chains (8 for orange-flesh sweet potatoes, 14 for African leafy vegetables). On 15Nov2022, NICE also organized an Agroecology workshop that brought together various actors involved in the NICE value chains to discuss interventions under the 5 agroecological principles adopted by the NICE project: i) diversity and ii) culture of food tradition, iii) efficiency, iv) recycling, and v) resilience. A farmers’ survey to understand the current status and potential for agroecological practices in Busia using an adapted version of FAO’s Self-evaluation and Holistic Assessment of climate Resilience of farmers and Pastoralists tool (SHARP) with 150 farmers was conducted in December 2021 to inform the agroecology work.

February 20, 2023

Outcome 3 – Demand generation

To foster demand and knowledge for nutritious and locally, agroecologically produced food contributing to a balanced diet, 76 Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) teachers have been trained on the importance and practical administration of vitamin A supplementation to children < 5 years of age as well as on the local school meal program guidelines in Q2 2022. Furthermore, NICE also financially supported the Ministry of Health and Education’s Malezi Bora Week also carrying out vitamin A supplementation for children <5 years in Busia in June 2022 and is currently starting to establish kitchen gardens in 10 schools (2 per selected sub-county) in line with the large demand generation campaign currently under finalization.

Formative research to inform a specific social behavior change campaign increasing nutrition literacy and the demand for nutritious and locally, agroecologically produced food has been completed in Oct2022 and is giving input to the demand generation campaign currently under finalization.

February 20, 2023

Outcome 4 – Learning and scale up

Knowledge sharing and learning activities in Busia are currently largely focused on exchanging experiences and forging synergies with the other NICE cities in Bangladesh, Kenya, and Rwanda. NICE focal persons at city level actively participated in 3 online peer-learning sessions in June and November 2022 and January 2023 where valuable inputs were shared.

Furthermore, Busia hosted the NICE Winter School 11-18Feb2023, where physical exchanges were held with all the other NICE cities as well as representatives from Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa and Bambilor (Senegal).

February 20, 2023

Baseline Situation

At baseline, a team of experienced enumerators visited 150 households in Busia to collect information on the nutritional status, socio-economic information and consumption behavior of the city population. This survey revealed food insecurity in nearly all (88.7%) of the visited households in Busia, which increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 7.8% of the children under 5 years were too short for their age and therefore stunted, and 12.8% were underweight. Furthermore, 49.4% of women and 17.6% of men were overweight. Around half of the women did not report an adequately diverse diet (47.7% consumed less than 5 food groups in the previous 24 hours). All this indicates the kind of obstacles faced by the urban population of Busia to access a diverse and nutritious diet, with likely negative effects on their longer-term health. On the other hand, many of the urban and peri-urban households owned farmland, overall 66%. This provides an opportunity for NICE activities to assist in an increase and diversification of locally and agroecologically produced nutritious foods and in making them more accessible for the city population, including vulnerable city population groups. Baseline data were collected in April 2021.

The County of Busia partners with the NICE consortium for this project.