Nourishing Baringo County through improved nutrition and sustainable food systems

The African Union Development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) CEO, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, declared that, “Most of the stakeholders are convinced that we need to address nutrition challenges in Africa.  Therefore, this highlights one critical area, that of re-orienting agricultural production from just producing food in huge quantities. The quality of the food that is produced needs to improve sustainably.”He further highlighted that solutions to the challenges faced by the continent include connecting smallholder farmers to markets; capitalising on the potential of informal markets that offer easy access and affordability of food, and; promoting regional integration in order to have better operating regional markets.

The EAT-Lancet Commission finds that:

  1. Healthy diets include food quality and quantity, meeting daily energetic needs of individuals (±2500 kcal per day) with approximately 50% consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, 30% of energetic needs coming from grains, preferably whole grains, greater proportion of beans and pulses in diet, and more moderate consumption of meat ranging between 0-186 g per day.
  2. Science targets for environmental propose limits on food production to ensure a functioning and resilient Earth System. The Commission provides science targets for greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, water use targets to preserve environmental flows, nitrogen and phosphorus applications targets to limit water pollution while closing yield gaps, land targets to protect biological carbon stocks, and biodiversity targets to halt the loss of biodiversity.
  3. In 2050, we can globally feed a healthy diet to a population of 10 billion, but this will require significant efforts in shifts to healthy diets, reducing food waste and loss by half, and sustainably increasing food production.

AAHRED RESEARCH IN BARINGO COUNTY

AAHRED research in nutrition focus is on Vitamin A supplementation, counseling of breastfeeding mothers, improved health seeking behavior of community members leading to demand for services and enhancing immunization by reducing defaulting behaviors

AAHRED findings reveal that Baringo County is food insecure, and the people suffer from chronic food insecurity. It is worth noting that households headed by women are more food insecure than those headed by men. This correlates with the fact that men and women are said not to have equal access to land.

Some of the factors contributing to food insecurity include:

  1. unfavorable climatic conditions
  2. high cost of farm inputs
  3. poor road network which results into high food prices and impedes access to markets
  4. lack of access to effective agricultural extension services and support to small scale farmers
  5. negative attitudes towards agriculture as a livelihood activity especially by men and youth
  6. lack of capital for agri-business projects
  7. exploitation by wealthy middlemen who buy directly from the farmers
  8. unemployment

As an organization focusing on health and wellbeing, we promote efforts to reduce diarrhoea, acute respiratory infections and other common childhood illnesses.

We champion for increased hospital deliveries, number of mothers attending at least 4 recommended ante natal clinics and increased number of children receiving all the recommended vaccines up to the age of 6 months remains critical in order to scale up maternal health.

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