Agri-Nutrition Manual Makes Progress in Kenya

July 17, 2014
KHCPAn agronomist and nutrition trainer talks to Margaret Mataa about nutrition and kitchen gardens.

Earlier this year, a Feed the Future program in Kenya teamed up with the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and the Ministry of Health to launch an Applied Basic Agri-Nutrition Resource Manual for Trainers designed to transform dietary behavior and build the resilience of families who may face shocks such as drought or high food prices.

Since then, the joint effort has equipped and empowered more than 4,600 community health workers, home economists and other country experts and trainers who have reached 745,000 people from more than 98,000 households to train them on how to choose and prepare nutritious foods. Trainings using the manual include cooking demonstrations and practical information on how to establish and maintain a kitchen garden. More than 20,000 kitchen gardens have been established, and local radio programs on nutrition have been launched in three counties.

Margaret Mataa, who lives in Meru County, struggled with high blood pressure for many years. But after attending agri-nutrition training sessions, Mataa replaced all the flowers in her small farm with nutritious vegetables like amaranth, spinach, kale and pumpkin. Thanks to her new crops, she can use pumpkin flour to make porridge for herself and her seven children. She also has other vegetables to add to her daily meals and has already seen improvement in her blood pressure. In Mataa’s village, adoption rates among families are rising and nutrition lessons are bringing traditional African leafy vegetables (once associated with poverty) back into style.

Learn more about the Agri-Nutrition Manual in Kenya.