The African Food Fellowship’s inaugural Food Systems Leadership Programme in Kenya is actively involved in reforming the country’s food systems, with Fellows playing an integral role in ushering in an era of efficiency, inclusivity and profitability in food value chains.
Aquaculture Fellow Janet Ngombalu, for instance, has been instrumental in the creation of a fish market in Nakuru County, which will provide a sanitary environment for fish mongers and buyers, thus improving yields and promoting better nutrition.
“In partnership with the Governor County of Nakuru H. E Lee Kinyanjui, we commissioned the construction of the Naivasha Smart Fish Market in Karai area on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway. The market will be game-changer for the youth who have been selling fish by the roadside, offering cold storage facilities as well as processing and cooking opportunities,” said Janet.
“Currently the youth are selling the raw fish at low prices, which hasn’t made the sector attractive. The market will therefore offer employment for youth, providing a reliable market for fish from Lake Naivasha, dams and ponds in the county,” she said. Janet is the Regional Programs Coordinator, and Manager of the Smart Markets Project at the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC).
Still in the aquaculture space, Fredrick Juma Ouma, the co-founder of Hydro Victoria Fish Hatchery Farm in Busia County, and his team took an advanced course on fish production systems, fish hatchery production management, water quality monitoring, aquaculture business acumen at FoodTechAfrica Aquaculture Academy.
“Aquaculture is still at young stage in Kenya and demand for fish products and inputs has been on the rise in recent years. Aquaculture in-skill development is a vital catalyst towards ensuring profitable, productive and sustainable inclusive Aquaculture. With this in mind, my staff and I attended a five day Advanced Aquaculture Training in Kendubay from August 9-13, 2021. We learnt hands-on practices on efficient fish hatching, pond aquaculture, modern cage aquaculture and recirculation aquaculture systems,” he said.
With the skills gained from the course, Fred and his colleagues are looking forward to adopting and training other fish farmers as well as fish hatchery producers to create systemic changes that will see Kenya meet the ambitious sustainable development goals.
The Food Systems Leadership Programme was launched in Kenya in May 2021. The inaugural cohort comprises 30 talented young Kenyans, ten each for the three impact areas of aquaculture, horticulture and agri-finance. The programme has just expanded into Rwanda and is currently receiving applications from Rwanda-based food systems leaders working in fintech for agricultural growth, access to nutritional food and sustainable land use and labour.