Blending of Flours for Enhanced Food and Nutrition Security Workshop

The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, State Department for Crops Development in conjunction with Farm Concern International, FCI organized a Consultative Stakeholder Workshop on Blending of Flours for Enhanced Food and Nutrition Security. The consultative workshop was held on Wednesday, March 28th 2018 at Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) headquarters in Loresho from 9am- 5pm. The chief guest was the Principal Secretary Agriculture, Dr. Richard Lesiyampe who was represented by Mr. Philip Markheti with participants drawn from the government, development organizations, private companies, farmer organizations and processors.

The workshop sought to come up with strategies to reduce pressure on maize consumption trends and food dietary practices by encouraging blending of maize flour with the largely underutilized rich flours such as millet, sorghum and cassava. This is one of the interventions to increase food security in the “Big 4 Plan” of the Government of the Republic of Kenya. 

The country has experienced over reliance of maize flour as the main staple food in most diets for majority of Kenyans. Maize, both in terms of subsistence and market-purchased crops, is the most important staple food-crop relied upon by about 96% of Kenyans and contributes significantly to food security and income in the Country. It dominates food consumption, accounting for 9-18% of total household expenditures across the country. This has increased the demand for maize despite the downward spiral in its production. According to the Kenya Economic Survey 2017, maize production declined from 42.5 million bags in 2015 to 37.1 million bags in 2016 reflecting a 13 percent drop. This has pushed Kenya to rely on imports under the subsidized imports programme to meet its annual maize requirements of nearly 62 million bags. The number of Kenyans staring at starvation is projected to increase in the coming years as the population increases at 3.3% while maize production increases by 2.4% over the same period of years This situation informed the convening of the blending of flours consultative workshop to assess the challenges and opportunities in milling maize flour blends and come up with interventions to reduce overdependence on maize flour by reversing the maize consumption trends and food dietary practices in Kenya.

To ensure thematic and guided discussions on maize flour blending, 6 stakeholder working groups were formed during the inaugural maize flour blending workshop. The working groups comprised stakeholders drawn from government ministries, government departments, private sector companies, research organizations, universities, farmers and development organizations (NGOs). Each stakeholder working group was led by experts drawn from organization with specific mandates on the subject matter. The working groups include Production Systems & Commercialization Policy; Agri-Nutrition, Health and Consumer behavioral change; Private Sector Engagement, SMEs and investment; Policy regulations, standards and food safety; National Governments, Counties and Partners Implementation Framework; and Resource Mobilizations, Funding & Strategic Partnerships.


Speaking during the workshop, Mr. Markheti, Deputy Director, Agriculture who represented the Principal Secretary challenged stakeholders to critically focus on radical action to promote blending of maize flour with largely underutilized nutrient-rich millet, sorghums and cassava flours and propose interventions to inform future programming in production and commercialization of the blends, promotion of heathy nutritious flours, the role of private sector for business development service, and quality & standards for maize flour blends. This will have tremendous positive impact on ensuring food sufficiency and enhanced nutrition status of our people.

The Principal Secretary emphasized that food and nutrition security is an important pillar in the realization of the Big Four Plan of the Government of the Republic of Kenya. The Permanent Secretary noted that consumption of sorghums and millets has been low in Kenya due to eating habits and taste preferences that don’t promote their consumption. He appreciated that the engagements of the workshop would create a platform for experience sharing and also on investment opportunities for maize flour blending for improving nutrition and food security outcome. “I would like to assure you that the Ministry will continue to support any effort towards ensuring food sufficiency and enhanced nutrition status,” said DR. Richard L. Lesiyampe, CBS, The Principal Secretary, State Department for Crops Development.


Mr. Philip Markheti, Deputy Director Agriculture addressing the maize flour blending workshop


In her introductory remarks, Dr. Grace Chirchir, Deputy Director Agriculture - Agribusiness Development, State Department for Crops Development, highlighted that it is the policy of the Government that all Kenyans, throughout their life cycle to enjoy at all times safe food and water in sufficient quantity and quality to satisfy their nutritional needs for optimal health. 

Mumbi Kimathi- Strategy and Sustainability Director at Farm Concern International observed that Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) is essential for farm budgeting and planning enabling farmers to effectively compare and determine the profitability of various commodities; thereby creating an opportunity to identify and venture into farming as an enterprise based on current data. “This workshop will help to ensure all efforts by the various players are consolidated and implemented to ensure consumers appreciate and understand that flour blending is for their benefit resulting in their full support to the initiative,” Mumbi Kimathi.


Mumbi Kimathi- Strategy and Sustainability Director, Farm Concern International presenting on Cost Drivers on Target Value chains & Cost Benefit Analysis for Enterprises


The workshop suggested inclusion of additional scope to include wheat flour blends to reduce pressure on wheat and also include amaranth and soya as part of the blending crops for nutritional benefits. It was also agreed that the stakeholder working groups will develop the maize and wheat flour blending 10-year strategy by May 2018 supervised by the State Department for Crops Development, Kenya and Farm Concern International (FCI)


Read more

FCI Africa Director speaks at the Global Food Security Symposium 2017 by Chicago Council on Global Affairs in Washington DC

FCI Africa Director, Mr. David Ruchiu spoke in the Global Food Security Symposium 2017 by Chicago Council on Global Affairs in Washington DC from 29th-30th March   2017 on “how the agriculture sector is emerging an opportunity not only for the next generation, but continent as a whole”.

Read more

Tanzania Agri-Investment Buyer Data-Incentivized Forum unveils the key role played by Traditional Informal Wholesale Aggregators

The Regional Seed-Farmer-Market-Consumer Integrated Value Chain Development Programme referred to as the SeFaMaCo Programme is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia. 

Read more

Hands-on Lessons & Impact Sharing by Kabunge Commercial Village with Tearfund UK, Eastern & Southern Africa Team Leaders

Farm Concern International hosted 9 staff from Tear Fund on 17th January 2017 at Kabunge Commercial Village for hands-on lessons sharing on smallholder farmer commercialization impact. 

Read more

Kimobo Farmers in Bungoma County challenged to adopt modern Technology

Farm Concern International, FCI; Anglican Development Services -Western and Bungoma County government Department of Agriculture, Livestock, fisheries and livestock through Feed the Future USAID Kenya Agricultural Value chain Enterprises organized a County Trade Fair on 28th October 2016 at Kimobo ACC grounds in Mt. Elgon sub-county.

Read more

Farm Concern International conducts Trade Fair at Challa Tuhire Scheme, Taita Taveta County

FCI in partnership with Kenya Promotions and Marketing Company (KPMC) and the County government of Taita Taveta through USAID Feed the Future -Kenya Agricultural Value Chain Enterprises (KAVES) conducted a trade fair at Challa Tuhire Irrigation Scheme, Taveta on 27th October 2016. 

Read more

USAID East Africa and Ministry of Agriculture Launches Hermetic Storage Technology in Kenya

A 2014 survey by the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) shows that current post- harvest losses in Kenya are at least 15% in strategic maize production zones and much higher in some of the food insecure areas. 

Read more

FCI- USIU Africa Partnership Championing Agro-SME growth for youths employment and wealth creation

Farm Concern International, FCI in partnership with Global Agribusiness Management & Entrepreneurship Centre; a programme of United States International University Africa (USIU-Africa), are working together to build a competitive Agribusiness sector specially targeting Small and Medium Agro-entrepreneurs. 

Read more

FCI hosts East Africa Cassava Value Chain - Wide Profitability Forum

The East Africa Cassava Value Chain- Wide Profitability Forum was held on Wednesday, September 21st 2016 at FCI Africa Regional Office. The interactive forum was a critical learning phase of a regional programme on Cassava Commercialization and Processing funded by Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and implemented by Farm Concern International. 

Read more

FCI trains entrepreneurs from 5 COMESA Countries

FCI with support from COMESA has conducted technical capacity building for cassava-focused Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from Zambia, Seychelles, Malawi, Burundi and Kenya. Cassava accounts for 15% of the total global starch production. FAO statistics rank cassava as fourth food crop in the developing countries feeding over 500 million people.

Read more

Agro-pastoralist Commercialization and Markets Programme in Northern Kenya Documentation

Agro-pastoralist Commercialization and Markets Programme in Northern Kenya is a two-year programme supported by TearFund UK and implemented by Farm Concern International (FCI) in Marsabit County, Kenya. 

Read more

Highlights of the speech by former AGRA President: Jane Karuku

Former AGRA President Jane Karuku while delivering the key note address during the Cassava & Sweet Potato Investment Symposium emphasized the various technological options now available in enhancing commercialization of the two crops.  

Read more

Senior Management Training (SMT) 2015

Farm Concern International (FCI)'s Regional Senior Management Team (SMT) meeting provides an opportunity for the teams from various countries and hubs to keep track of work progress and share on each other's developments.The last SMT was held at the Africa Office between March 2-6.

Read more

Staff promotions 2014

 Performance management is a critical process which goes hand in hand with career planning and development for the staff in any institution. FCI takes this process seriously; this is at the heartbeat of the Human Resources Department. The team in this department is committed to ensuring that the team performs to the optimum and that their career development paths are planned and managed appropriately, in line with best HR practices and standards.

Read more

CoMap Launch

CoMAP Project, which mainly targets to build the livelihoods of over 1,900 agro pastoralist households, will be launched on 19th February 2015 in Marsabit Central Sub-County at the Jirime Hotel and Resort. The event, which will be facilitated by Farm Concern International (FCI) with support from Tear Fund, will attract participants from Marsabit County government representatives, development partners and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries.

Read more

2014 Staff Awards

Every year, Farm Concern International (FCI) recognizes and awards exceptional staff. The vetting process is rigorous and transparent, evaluating staff on key areas such as job effectiveness & productivity, team work, adherence to company policy and interpersonal skills. In 2014, eight staff received awards for their excellent well-rounded performance. 

Read more

New Market for Sweet potato in Kisumu Promises Increased Income

Farm Concern International (FCI) recently held a trader-farmer event which attracted 130 smallholder farmers in Kabondo Constituency in Homa Bay County.  The event, led by Jared Kassam, the team leader and Hub Manager for Lake Victoria Hub, was presided over by a representative from the Investors of Homa SG, Mr. Gabriel Oduor. 

Read more

SeFaMaCo Launch

The Tanzania Director of Crop Development Dr. Twahir S. Nzallawah was the Guest of Honor during the official launch of the SeFaMaCo programme that is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by Farm Concern International.

Read more

Embu High School Going for Nationals in Soccer, 2015

The Embu Open Youth Sports Tournament 2015, sponsored by Farm Concern International (FCI), is an annual event that provides students and other organized youth groups  in the region an opportunity to compete in sports and learn more about agriculture. This year, the tournament took place at Kangaru Schools, Kigari Teachers’ Training College and Embu University College on 7th and 8th February 2015.

Read more

Category: Past Events
Hits: 8481

FCI VISION : Commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond