Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Market Linkages Project
The Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition (BFN) Market Linkages Project: An Adapted Farmer Business School (FBS) model and the Development of a Supply Chain Model for African Leafy Vegetables is a pilot project working with identified entrepreneurial farmer groups to build their capacity in the sustainable production of nutrient-rich crops and strengthen their capacity to respond to market demands for these crops.
The project targets institutional markets such as local schools, clinics and many others; to increase the appreciation and use of local nutritious biodiversity to improve dietary diversity. The overall aim of this pilot project to improve the sustainable production and consumption of nutrient-rich indigenous crops to diversify diets in Busia County, Western Kenya, by linking rural entrepreneurs to institutional markets.
The objectives of this project are to:
- To empower community-based organizations (CBOs) and self-help groups (SHGs), especially women, to supply markets for nutrient-rich foods by improving sustainable production using best practices, improved processing,handling, marketing, financial and business management;
- To develop institutional markets (schools, clinics, etc.) and supply chains for nutrient-rich foods to support the improvement of dietary diversity in institutions and;
- To raise awareness among target groups of the value of indigenous crops in improving diets, especially women and young children, leading to increased demand for nutritious foods in the wider population.
So far the project staff in the seven (7) sub-counties of Busia County have undertaken a capacity assessment exercise to profile the groups on various aspects of governance, entrepreneurship skills, understanding of food and nutrition, marketing and market linkages as well as development of business plans. Anchor farmers and group committees have been identified and various group training specific modules are ongoing. Cooking demonstrations have be undertaken.
Capacity building activities in nutrition education, understanding marketing and building the capacity of farmer groups to conduct market surveys are underway.