Nairobi City County government will put up Food Inspection points in all entry points to the county to guarantee safety and quality of food that enters the markets, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has said.
Speaking on Wednesday during the luncheon by the Agricultural Society of Kenya during this year’s Nairobi International Trade Fair, Sonko said all food products coming to the Capital City have to be inspected.
“Moving forward, the Nairobi City County Government will put more emphasis on food safety by establishing Food Inspection points at all entry points to the county to guarantee the safety and quality of food that enters our markets,” said Sonko.
The Governor said most of Nairobi food comes from outside the County because agricultural production in the City is to a large extent small-scale, market oriented and subsistence farming because farmers have small portions of land.
Sonko said they are also developing and piloting the Nairobi Food Market Information System which will use a multi-sectorial approach to improve the efficiency of the food system.
“This aims to make quality and safe food more accessible at an affordable price to all. Using technology, we want to make it easier for consumers to access market information as this would give them more choices when shopping for foodstuff,” said Sonko.
At the same time, Sonko said Nairobi City County now has a dedicated Directorate of Food Systems and Sector Coordination, whose primary responsibility is to drive the agenda of food security.
He said the Directorate is first developing a comprehensive Nairobi Food System Strategy which will guide them to achieve an efficient food supply and distribution system for the city.
Secondly, Sonko said, his administration is adopting an Urban Early Warning and Early Action initiative on food security surveillance which they developed in collaboration with Kenya Red Cross, Concern Worldwide and Oxfam to detect the food situation in the city.
“This system allows us to predict food shortage early enough, to allow the County Government to intervene amongst the most vulnerable populations,” said Sonko.
Nairobi has also developed and passed the Nairobi City County Urban Agriculture Promotion and Regulation Act, which has provided a conducive environment for agricultural production and which has done away with the by-laws that were prohibiting agriculture in the City.
“This law now allows us to use modern technologies suitable for an urban setting to get maximum yields from the small land we have,” he said.