The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Kenya, Ambassador Simon Mordue, paid a visit to Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), supported Miller, Beada Maize Millers Limited in Nakuru County, November 18, 2019.
JKUAT in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH) is implementing a European Union Funded Food Fortification project that seeks to strengthen the current government initiative to fortify maize flour. The programme, ‘Strengthening the Kenya National Food Fortification Programme,’ has been in operation since February 2017, to improve the health and nutritional status of poor and vulnerable groups.
During the visit, Amb. Mordue reiterated EU’s commitment to the project saying, “the European Union is committed to support Kenya to ensure maize flour is fortified with important micro-nutrients to improve health and nutritional status of Kenyans.”
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi, thanked the EU for their continued support of the programme and assured the ambassador of JKUAT’s commitment towards the implementation of the project whose aim is to improve the health outcomes across the country.
While mentioning the outputs of the programme, Prof. Daniel Sila, Project Manager, informed the meeting that the project has constructed a food fortification laboratory equipped with diverse state of the art analytical equipment at JKUAT, and the laboratory will serve as a training ground for industry, regulators, researchers and students.
He further reported that in 2019, the lab has analyzed 35 flour samples from 15 companies on the main parameters as stipulated by the Kenya Bureau of Standard guidelines.
“I am confident that through the outputs of the project, food fortification will become part of the routine milling process for all maize millers in Kenya,” said Prof. Sila.
Chief Executive Officer, Beada Maize Millers, Amb. David Mutemi lauded the capacity building aspect of the programme saying the training they have received from the programme has enabled his company to work efficiently with the regulatory bodies.
“We need to be cognizant to the fact that for us to achieve 100% fortification especially for small and medium scale millers, we need to involve every stakeholder in the fortification process,” advised Amb. Mutemi.
While lauding Beada Millers for complying with set down regulation, Kenya’s Food Fortification Programme Manager at the Ministry of Health, John Mwai said failure to fortify flour denies the consumer a nutritious food and carries serious health implications for the population.
The EU Ambassador to Kenya was accompanied by the Nakuru County Executive Committee member in-charge of Agriculture, Dr. Immaculate Maina among other EU and Nakuru County staff.