Urban Food Agenda

FAO Activities ramping up in Kisumu


Under the Framework of the FAO Priority Programme “Achieving Sustainable Urban Food Systems” FAO is supporting the Kisumu County in implementing the FAO Urban Food Agenda and Green Cities Initiative activities, with tangible results and impacts on the livelihood of urban and rural population.

Generating evidence on urban food systems

Today, Kisumu city already hosts 49% of the county population. FAO's work in the region provides support on mainstreaming food systems into local policy, plans and action working with the local government and local stakeholders such as civil society organizations, academic institutions, farmers’ organizations.

A first result of this work was a comprehensive assessment of food systems, inspecting the dynamics within the urban areas: consumption habits, food distribution, access to nutritious food through retail markets, street food vendors, and the analysis of the food flows from Kisumu rural areas and nearby Counties.
Key priority value chains analysed include rice, maize, fish, eggs, tomato, African indigenous vegetables, bananas and watermelon.

Evidence generated will be fundamental to inform the decision makers on the key gaps, especially on key food sources for Kisumu, available food infrastructure such as land, roads, markets as well as challenges faced by consumers in affordability and access to safe and nutritious foods.  

The Kisumu Governance Mechanism and the development of a food strategy

In order to ensure inclusivity in developing a sustainable food system in Kisumu, a local forum called in Kisumu in late 2021 outlined the way forward and practical activities to be implemented in the County.

One of the most powerful actions is the creation of the Food Liaison Advisory Group (FLAG), a multi-stakeholder governance mechanism able to promote dialogue and propose recommendations to local governments on priority actions to be implemented in urban areas. The FLAG includes members from government, producers, traders, academia, research, and will be supporting Kisumu County on the development of the Food Systems Strategy. The role of FLAG has been crucial during the COVID –19 Pandemic in identifying the best strategies to ensure the access to food during the Pandemic.

Moreover, a thematic FLAG has been created to discuss on the key role of the women street food vendors in facilitating the access to food particularly within informal settlements. The Street food vendors FLAG thematic group promotes an integrated approach, which considers food safety, hygiene, and sanitations strategies together with business opportunities for women street food vendors.

Capacity Building for Youths Entrepreneurial Skills

Lastly, on January 26th, 100 youths have started a specific training on entrepreneurial skills, focusing on specific food value chains: fish, vegetables, and poultry.

The objective of this program is to improve youth skills to foster their employment possibilities. Through 3 days camp and 3 months of business mentorship, young entrepreneurs could be able to transform their ideas of into real Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).


(Photo, Emily Mikwa)