Food Systems

New ways to improve Kenyan Food Systems


The AgrInvest-Food Systems project of FAO has just released its first food systems assessment for Kenya, as a result of a partnership with the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM).

The newly published study - Political economy analysis of the Kenyan food systems - takes a political economy approach to map Kenya’s food systems, outlining its social, environmental, and economic outcomes, as well as its key actors, political economy features and sustainability challenges and opportunities.

The analysis provides information to guide the interventions under the main framework of the AgrInvest-Food Systems project, which is focused on fostering sustainable investments in agri-food systems of Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Niger, and Kenya, to achieve sustainable economic growth and boost rural employment, particularly for women and youths.

The Political economy analysis of the Kenyan food systems led to the identification of two promising value chains for SDG-aligned investments, namely indigenous vegetables and aquaculture, and bottlenecks that currently impede more investments in Kenya. According to the study, undernourishment has been rising for several years in the country, alongside the increasing of overweight and unhealthy diets, coupled with signs of unsustainable natural resource depletion.

The study also suggests that investments and policies should be reoriented to support nutrition-sensitive value chains such as indigenous vegetables and aquaculture, for more sustainable production and diversification.

Finally, the authors point out that Kenya’s food systems could also be improved to benefit simultaneously human health, the environment, and the economy, by rebalancing national and international support for the food economy to better serve national and local markets, proposing a territorial approach (focusing on the area from the national capital to Lake Victoria) and not only global value chains.

Download the full study here: