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TechnoServe launches program to widen variety of fortified foods

Consumers will benefit from a variety of fortified foods as part of improving their health, thanks to a programme being fast tracked by the Government and development partners.

Non-profit international development organization TechnoServe late Monday launched a program -Technical Assistance Accelerator Programme (TAAP) that aims to widen the variety of fortified foods.

TechnoServe Global Program Director Mr. Dominic Schofield explained that the programme will further ensure Kenyan consumers continue to have access to nutritious meals.

He stated that TAAP comes at a time when supply chain disruptions and high food prices are changing consumption habits and therefore making it necessary to align fortification efforts to ensure access to nutrition by the consumers.

“For example, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has disrupted supply chains and upended the global trade of agricultural goods, mounting increases in the price of food staples has also forced households to alter their diets, likely impacting their consumption of essential nutrients,” said Schofield.

Schofield made the remarks at a Nairobi hotel during the launch of the programme that was also graced by private sector and Government agencies.

“Food fortification has been widely identified as a cost-effective strategy for addressing micronutrient malnutrition at scale, the prospect of lower calorie intakes increases the importance of fortifying staple foods such as maize flour, rice and edible oil,” he added.

Schofield disclosed that the programme will provide technical assistance and advocate for high quality inputs to, among others; large and small scale millers in an effort to motivate these stakeholders to comply with national fortification regulations.

TAAP comes on the heels of the Strengthening African Processors on Fortified Foods (SAPFF), program launched in 2017 which worked toward increasing food fortification compliance levels among two staples in Kenya-wheat and maize flour.

Schofield Revealed that TAAP intends to work with all relevant stakeholders including the Ministry of Health, The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and Cereal Millers Association.

At the same time, KEBS Director Standards Development and International Trade Esther Ngari lauded all institutions involved in food fortification, both public and private, for working very closely through various structures such as Kenya National Food Fortification Alliance which has significantly improved the compliance level over the years.

“I am proud that in food fortification, we have got to a level that as a country, challenges are addressed scientifically resulting in long lasting solutions,” he said.

Ngari reiterated that the program should be implemented in an efficient and efficacious manner if it were to realize its potential.

By Mike Mulinge and Ella Elizabeth

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