The National Business Compact on COVID- 19 (NBCC) has partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture to roll out the 1 million Kitchen Garden Campaign, an initiative meant to boost immunity of the Kenyan people during the COVID-19 period.
The campaign will be spearheaded by the Ministry Of Agriculture as they seek to ensure availability of vegetables, fruits and herbs to enhance proper nutrition in over one million households across the country through the use of kitchen gardens.
The pilot phase of the campaign will begin with 15,000 farmers across 47 counties who will act as peer-educators. They will play a crucial role in educating community members on technologies to produce, prepare and preserve green leafy vegetables in a bid to boost household immunity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anne Nyaga, the Chief Administration Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture said the President has prioritized National Food and Nutrition Security as one of the top four priority areas in the BIG FOUR agenda and the initiative is part of that agenda. “As you are aware, Agriculture is the mainstay of Kenya’s economy and its performance directly and indirectly affects Kenya’s overall economic growth. The Agriculture sector has the primary role of feeding people well by ensuring availability, affordability and consumption of diverse, safe, nutritious foods and diets,” she said.
She added that the 1 million Kitchen Garden Campaign was vested by the Kenyan Government after it identified that proper nutrition can be used as a measure to stop-gap the spread of the coronavirus. She said this will ensure access to healthy inexpensive diets that contains adequate macro and micronutrients. The garden will also play a big role as they will act as a source of food and income for poor household’s in areas where people have limited income-earning opportunities.
Through the support of the Small Scale Irrigation and Value Addition Project (SIVAP), Makueni County will be the front runners of this campaign having the initial farmers who will be the peer-educators on simple technologies to produce, prepare and preserve green to the communities
Some of the kitchen garden technologies that the farmers will be taken through country wide will include; Multi-storey gardens, cone garden, hanging gardens, micro-gardens (buckets, tyres, other containers) , moist bed gardens, staircase garden, aquaphonics and food robe garden.
The implementation of this campaign will be supported by three government of Kenya Projects namely; The National Agriculture and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP), The Small Scale Irrigation and Value Addition Project (SIVAP) and The Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP).
Other partners include the National Business Compact on COVID -19 (NBCC) through the Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition (AFN) work stream that will be complimenting the project by providing strategic communication on aspects of food availability, accessibility and proper nutrition following the COVID-19 Nutrition and Healthy Diets Guidelines to the public.
“NBCC’s mission is to limit the spread of infections by improving hygiene practices and contribute to protecting lives and livelihoods across Kenya and this will not be possible without a solution to the food security challenges that COVID 19 has brought to our country” said Myriam Sidibe, the NBCC chair & co-founder.
Sidibe added that food companies are essential in enabling many to stay in isolation and helping communities contain COVID-19.
The National Business Compact on COVID-19, (NBCC) has mobilized a total of sh80 million that was used to support government efforts to combat the spread, effects and impact of COVID- 19 in Kenya. In addition to this, they have partnered with local media houses to sensitize and educate the public on hand washing, sanitizing and social distancing as a way of helping the government drive awareness and consumer education towards adopting pro-social behavior.