Food insecurity and a dysfunctional food system in the country are major threats to both the growth of the country’s economy and the full potential of the work force in the country, which is rated among the best not only in Africa but globally.
To help the government combat food insecurity in the country, the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) with the support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has launched the Food Systems Transformation (FST) project, which, among other roles, will contribute to the strengthening of equitable, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable food systems through enhancing capacity for policy engagement.
FST was launched on Friday in Nairobi during a one-day workshop that was attended by over 50 participants from the agricultural sector. Another key step in the right direction is the Utafiti Sera Framework, which will mobilize support from key stakeholders for the establishment of a comprehensive national food systems policy equipped with a robust regulatory framework to ensure effective implementation.
“”Embracing PASGR’s Utafitisera model, the FST project aims to foster vibrant communities of practice. These communities will co-create evidence, and drive inclusive, transformative changes in our food systems policies.” said Acting Executive Director Dr.
The aim of the workshop, using PASGR’s flagship Utafiti Sera Framework, was to draw on existing evidence on food systems in Kenya and stakeholder engagements to support existing evidence-policy pathways towards the realization of affordable, high-quality, safe, and nutritious foods.
The workshop’s main objective is to offer stakeholders a thorough overview of the foundational principles driving Utafiti Sera House’s approach, which revolves around the pursuit of equitable, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable food systems.
“‘Empowerment starts with inclusion. By amplifying community voices in decision and policy-making, we pave the way for more effective, people-centered solutions.”said Prof Ruth Oniangó
Food systems are the lifeblood of our nation’s sustenance, intricately woven from production to consumption and entwined with health, economy, ecosystems, and climate.
The workshop also served as a platform for the formal launch of the FST Utafiti Sera House, an initiative that aspires to create impactful change within Kenya’s food landscape.
The project will harness PASGR’s flagship Utafiti Sera Framework and existing evidence to spearhead a movement towards equitable, resilient, and sustainable food systems.
Food insecurity remains an enduring and pressing challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa, and Kenya is no exception.
The workshop aimed at to achieving the following outcomes:
- Increased awareness and understanding of the food Systems Transformation among Stakeholders and the public.
- Formation of new partnerships and collaboration to support the transformation of food systems to make them more equitable, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable.
Commitment from key stakeholders to actively participate in co-creating policy options to transform food systems.
“Many African policies rely on informed rather than evidence-based decisions. Evidence, though vital, takes a back seat to political priorities, patronage, and other interests. Let’s advocate for a data-driven approach that truly serves the people.” said Dr. Steve Akoth, Policy Expert.
Achieve uptake of policy initiatives arising from considerations of evidence.
Strengthened stakeholder capacities in accessing and appropriating research evidence for policy and practice.
Keynote speakers during the workshop included Prof.Ruth Oniangó, Founder and Editor in Chief of the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition, and Development; Dr. Pauline Ngimwa, Acting Executive Director, PASGR; Prof. Remi E. Ayiede, Research and Policy Uptake Lead, PASGR; and Mr. Patrick Odame, Acting Executive Director, CABE, among others.