FAO in Kenya

Equipping students and SMEs to work on nutrition sensitive food systems

Mix of vegetables and cereals processed into special flours by Muuo wa Sombe Women's Group in Makueni County, Kenya. Photo Credit ©FAO/Luis Tato June 4, 2019

FAO and the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) collaborating to enhance curricula

Eliminating malnutrition in all its forms is imperative to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, and to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Although Kenya shows overall decreasing rates of undernutrition, a significant increase in obesity between the years 2000 and 2016 calls for a holistic approach in address nutrition gaps across the food system.

Strengthening the knowledge and capacities of key stakeholders, in particular university students, the private sector (including micro, small and medium enterprises) and civil society actors of the agri-food sector is a critical starting point towards attaining food systems conducive to healthy diets. By working with academia and the private sector, FAO hopes that Kenya can use research, innovation and technology transfer to meet the nutritional needs of a growing population while meaningfully engaging the youth, the country’s future change makers, in the process of redesigning nutrition-sensitive food systems and economic models.  

FAO has now signed an agreement with the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) to enhance its curricula by incorporating FAO’s learning material into their existing education programmes, training professors and students and improving their access to technically validated resources. This innovative initiative will be monitored and reported on with the intention of creating a model that can be replicated by other institutions of higher learning to strengthen African students’ capacities on Nutrition-sensitive food systems. The University will collaborate with FAO in the process of developing a global e-learning course on MSMEs for Nutrition-Sensitive Food Systems, which will present an additional public source of learning material available for students at the national and regional level. This innovation will help to overcome the constraints of access faced by conventional education delivery mechanisms and will contribute substantially to the development of the capacities of key partners working on the integration of nutrition into food value chains.

These activities benefit from the financial support of the Japanese Government, under the framework of the project “Strengthening the capacities for nutrition–sensitive food systems through a multi-stakeholder approach” implemented in Kenya, Ghana, and Viet Nam. FAO is implementing this project by working closely not only with academia, but also with private sector associations and civil society organizations, ensuring sustainable exchange of knowledge and skills to foster continuous innovation in the area of nutrition. 

FAO and JKUAT working with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) towards adoption of sustainable nutrition-sensitive business models

SMEs play an important role in the provision of fresh and nutrition food adapted to the cultural preferences of consumers due to their proximity to and knowledge of local markets. They also play an important role in the generation of job opportunities for the youth, thus promoting the growth of local economies. As part of this agreement, the University will support FAO to strengthen the capacities of Kenyan SMEs to adopt nutrition-sensitive work practices and approaches in their business models.

Further support to SMEs development will also be enhanced through collaborations between the project and international organizations among which the SUN Business Network, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN).

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For additional information:

Barrack Okoba
Head of Resilient Food and Livelihoods Systems Sub-Programme
Tel: +254 20 7625939
Email: [email protected]  


Media Contacts:
Margherita Bavagnoli
Nutrition and Food Systems Division (ESN)
FAO Head Quarter Rome, Italy
Tel: +39 06 570 52453
Email: [email protected] 
Neema Grace Mutemi
Country Communications Adviser
FAO Representation in Kenya
Tel: +254 20 76 25987
Email: [email protected] 
This news release was issued by the FAO Representation in Kenya
Block P - Level 3 | United Nations Complex Gigiri, UN Avenue, Gigiri    
P.O Box 30470 – 00100, Nairobi – Kenya.
Tel:  +254 (0) 20 76 25920