Women Food Entrepreneurs

Building Inclusive Business Models for Food Security in the city slums of Kisumu and Ouagadougou.

With the funding from University of Armsterdam — NWO/WOTRO Science for Global Development, in rapidly growing city slums in sub-Saharan Africa, poor women face capital and resource constraints and soils and water used for growing food crops are contaminated. Yet, they want to provide good and healthy food to their families. This project aims to strengthen women’s food entrepreneurship in city slums in Kenya and Burkina Faso, based on an integrated understanding of the complex interactions between soil quality, food production and quality and nutrition for vulnerable groups.

The project has a trans-disciplinary team of social and natural scientists, Dutch, Kenyan and Burkinabé entrepreneurs, government and civil society actors, and community-based women groups. Through a comparative analysis between Kisumu and Ouagadougou, this project addresses the constraints faced by women as: food producers in (peri-)urban gardens; food processors; and food marketeers, within diversified physical, environmental, social and policy contexts.

The project: (a) co-designs and field-tests hybrid food production and processing technologies; and (b) enhances and promotes women’s business knowledge and skills through inclusive business models. Bringing together local knowledge of farmers and international scientific and business knowledge in the first year has led to innovative insights and hybrid technologies,  participatory workshops, field-experiments, and demonstration sites with the six farmers’ groups (an average of 25 farmers per group). The interactive bottom-up learnings are focused on usage of policy information at city level. The project outcomes include: increased use of sustainable technologies to improve soil and food quality, increased use of hybrid technologies for food processing, increased sales of high quality local food commodities, enhanced added-value of local food commodities, and increased incomes of women food entrepreneurs.

Governor Nyong’o embraces mini farming agriculture in Kisumu city