Food Fortification Summit Underway as Stakeholders Take Stock

Prof. Sila takes the EU delegation led by EU Delegation to Kenya, Head of Section, Agriculture, Job Creation and Resilience, Ms. Myra Bernardi, through the food fortification lab/File Photo

The second Kenya Food Fortification Summit will be held on June 29-30, 2021 as stakeholders take stock and engage on milestones gained from the first summit held in 2018.

The summit themed ‘Creating an Enabling Environment for Food Fortification in Kenya’ endeavours to assess progress made compared to challenges that were highlighted in the 2018 summit.

The summit organised by the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the European Union, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and Nutrition International will attract participants drawn from government, research institutions, development partners, millers, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and private sector.

According to the JKUAT EU Funded Food Fortification Project Coordinator, Prof. Daniel Sila significant progress has been made in Kenya in terms of achievement of some of the World Health Assembly 2025 targets including reducing childhood stunting.

“Staple food fortification has demonstrably increased the availability of micronutrients essential to health and development in the diets of people across the globe,” said Prof. Sila adding that the summit will provide a platform where the stakeholders can build on food fortification milestones gained and increase the uptake of fortification roles in counties.

The two-day summit will also see the launch of food fortification products such as food fortification reporting system and database; progress report on food fortification in Kenya; awarding of best performing industries in food fortification; and commitment to food fortification and call to action.

Prof. Sila said the summit provides an opportunity to also have an engagement with government, donors, CSOs, and private sectors to secure a fortification commitment at the United Nation Food System Summit (FSS) and the Nutrition Growth Summit (N4G) to be held in September and December this year respectively.

“Direct engagement between government, food industry and retail sector leaders is needed to encourage national FSS and N4G commitments on staple food fortification,” opined Prof. Sila.

The FSS and N4G seek to increase support for staple food fortification and to secure new pledges and commitments from governments, donors, and the private sector to mandate, support, and market quality fortified foods.

Kenya Food Fortification Logo: As per Kenya regulations, all fortified foods should have this logo

The European Union has funded Kenya’s efforts to fortify staple foods and improve the health and nutritional status of the poor and vulnerable groups to a tune of KSh. 350 Million.

The “Strengthening the Kenya National Food Fortification Programme” is being implemented by the Ministry of Health, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and other partners drawn from both public and private sectors.

The Programme has established a food fortification reference laboratory at JKUAT to improve local capacity to monitor and evaluate the level of compliance of different fortified food products to the national standards.

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