Between Feb 20 – 24, Foresight4Food team makes an exploratory visit to Kenya for scoping possible support from public and private institutions and seek partnership with different stakeholders to implement the Foresight for Food System Transformation (FoSTr) programme.
There were three main objectives of the visit including engagement with policymakers and other stakeholders to see how FoSTr could support national processes of food system transformation, meeting with possible country facilitators and research partners to engage in the implementation of the FoSTr programme, and gaining a better understanding of key trends and developments in the Kenyan food system.
In this regard, the team met with key multilateral organizations including representatives from IFAD and WFP, policymakers and other key stakeholders including Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Water and the Ministry of Environment as well as private sector organizations (KEPSA, KNCCI, KAM) and civil society organizations (CGA, EAFF, KENAFF). The team also met with some potential research partners like University of Nairobi, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC).
The FoSTr team also organized a well-attended workshop in The Social House in Nairobi with the title: ‘The Future of Food: Foresight for Food System Transformation in Kenya’. Opening remarks were held by Dr. Mary Mwale, Food Security Specialist at the Ministry of Agriculture and Moses Abukari, Programme Manager at IFAD. Over twenty participants from government, private sector, government and civil society attended the workshop.
These discussions yielded useful insights for the type of policy support that the FoSTr team could engage in for implementation of the programme in Kenya, connecting to key themes in Kenya’s food system: the role of technology in agricultural innovation, recurring droughts related to climate change, challenges with pests and diseases and the decentralization of agricultural policy and implementation.
The activities of the FoSTr team’s visit to Kenya reaped some interesting key outcomes. The key stakeholders in the Kenyan government ensured their support for the implementation of the FoSTr programme, in-depth knowledge about the capacity and expertise of potential research partners and candidates for the role of country coordinator, a better understanding of key trends and developments in the Kenyan food system, and alignment of the FoSTr programme with ongoing policy processes (UNFSS pathways and dialogues, the Agricultural Sector and Growth Transformation Strategy) and IFAD, FAO and WFP programming.