The European Union (EU) has pledged its support to Kenya in fortification of common staple foods.
This will improve health and nutritional status of marginalised communities.
The six-year initiative, Strengthening the Kenya National Food Fortification Programme,” announced yesterday in Nairobi will be implemented by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and the Ministry of Health as well as private sector partners to strengthen and address gaps in food fortification.
The project seeks to strengthen the current Food Fortification initiatives for cereal millers in the country on belief that fortification of commercially produced staple foods continuously delivers nutrients to large segments of the population, without requiring them to change eating habits.
Government statistics show that only large millers fortify maize flour, accounting for only 40 per cent of the maize flour consumed in the country, leaving a 60 per cent deficit. Fortified flours are not available to rural and urban poor households since they source their flour from micro- small and medium scale millers (MSMM) who lack the capacity to fortify flours.
“The project aims to strengthen capacity of cereal millers to deliver micronutrient rich staple foods to target populations, particularly women, girls and children who are most vulnerable to malnutrition,” said EU Delegation in Kenya, Head of Cooperation Erik Habers during the programme launch in Nairobi.
JKUAT will work in collaboration with Kenya National Food Fortification Alliance , Ministry of Health, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, Premix-Suppliers, industrial players (flour, oil, salt) and consumer organisations.
The EU supports to complement the Strengthening the Kenya National Food Fortification Programme amount to €3.2million (Sh360.4 million).