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Taita-Taveta marks world food day

Food is an essential component of human existence. This year’s World Food Day (WFD) national celebrations in Voi, Taita-Taveta County underscored the need to explore food not just as a commodity to be traded but also as a way of achieving development goals.

With the theme Better production, Better nutrition, Better environment and Better Life, this years’ event on Saturday stressed the necessity for having sustainable food systems aimed at achieving food and nutrition security especially in Arid and Semi-Arid areas.

Dr. Lauren Landis, World Food Program (WFP) Representative giving her speech during the world food day celebrations in Voi. Photo by Wagema Mwangi

Principal Secretary (PS), State Department for Crop Development and Agricultural Research, Prof Hamadi Boga called for a need to transform food systems in the country to address food security.

The PS, who was the chief guest, disclosed that the Ministry of Agriculture together with other partners are working towards showcasing how people can be able to feed themselves using simplified climate-smart technologies that increase production thereby assuring the country of food security.

He added that by shifting patterns in food production, delivery and consumption, industry leaders are developing new knowledge and interventions that will provide people with ready access to healthy food and better lives for the future.

“There are many issues threatening our food systems. That is why we have been stressing on food systems – from production, processing and the logistics of getting it to the market. It is a complex undertaking that eventually ends with a plate of food on the table,” he said.

The PS also hailed the various exhibitors attending the event for using almost common techniques to be able to feed households with enough, nutritious food.

The event was also attended by senior county government officials including Executive Member for Agriculture Mr. Davis Mwangoma and top officials of World Food Programme.

The world is at a critical juncture to address food shortages as the number of people threatened by hunger continues to soar. Statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) show that 14 per cent of the world’s food is lost as a result of inadequate harvesting, poor handling during storage and transit. 17 per cent is wasted at consumer level.

World Food Programme (WFP) Representative Lauren Landis noted that better nutritional habits, more diverse diets and access to healthy food are critical to Kenya’s future.

She acknowledged that the United Nations has been closely working with the national and county governments especially in the Arid and Semi-arid regions to find ways to adapt climate-smart agricultural techniques to encourage innovation in farming and to help individuals and communities insure against climate shocks.

“This day is a great opportunity to reflect and acknowledge how gains in food production and nutrition are very much dependent on different ways to adapt to climate-smart agriculture and our relationship with the environment,” she added.

On September 3 this year, during the United Nations summit on Food Systems, Kenya played an important leadership role in articulating bold new ways particularly in the area of nutrition. This highlights the government’s investment in nutrition as a fundamental key to better lives through building healthier, resilient and more sustainable food systems.

By Raphew F Mukuyia and Wagema Mwangi

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