Agriculture and nutrition should complement each other in order to achieve food and nutrition security and universal health coverage. This was the dominant discourse during Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) sensitisation meeting for integration of nutrition in agriculture and food systems curriculum held at JKUAT, June 22, 2018.
It was observed that despite record food output in various parts of the country, Kenya still suffers from malnutrition. To tackle that, it was unanimously agreed that the stakeholders involved should focus on nutrition capacity building and improving the quality of peoples diet.
The meeting brought together stakeholders from FAO, Kenya Nutritionists and Dieticians Institute (KNDI), Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Health and JKUAT to deliberate on how to develop the capacity of local universities to contribute to the transformation of food systems for healthier diets and better nutrition through public-private partnership.
Speaking during the meeting, the Head of FAO Kenya Nutrition Unit, Ms. Angela Kimani said in order to ensure that Kenya achieves food nutrition, it is crucial to strengthen the knowledge and capacities of key stakeholders especially academia as agents of change.
“Academia will play a key role in building the capacity of food nutrition and hopefully produce competent graduates and train SMEs of agri-food sector to transform food systems for better nutrition,” said Ms. Kimani.
With 26% of children in Kenya being malnourished, Ms. Kimani was optimistic that multi-stakeholder collaboration would play a vital role in ending malnutrition menace in the country.
Coordinator of Deans, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Prof. David Mburu while lauding the efforts of FAO in strengthening the capacities for nutrition sensitive food systems said, the sensitisation will improve academia-industry linkages for development.
“As a University we are ready to play our role in eliminating malnutrition in all its forms and hopefully, it will aid the country achieve the Big Four Agenda,” Prof. Mburu observed.