Chef’s pick from the farm to your plate | WWF Kenya

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Chef’s pick from the farm to your plate

Picture this, a chef who knows how your favourite dish is produced, harvested, stored and transported. Basically, a chef who is part of the food journey from the farm to your plate.

This is happening in Lake Naivasha basin where WWF- Kenya is linking farmers with hotels and other consumers, to promote and influence an inclusive green economy through the Green hOrticulture At LAke Naivasha (GOALAN).

 

The project is a four-year project funded by the European Union (EU) under Switch Africa Green phase II. The project anchored on Kenya’s Vision 2030 and Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan (GESIP) is aimed at working towards making the horticultural sector in Kenya and beyond contribute to an inclusive green economy by a large uptake of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) practices along the supply chain, providing green jobs and reducing poverty.

Through the project, we are working with 207 Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)  in Nyandarua, Nakuru and Narok counties, in an integrated approach with a focus on youth in agriculture and a shift towards Sustainable Consumption by consumers, public institutions, retailers and hotels.  Other partners include state agencies like Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD) and Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS), Micro Financial Institutions like Equity Bank, Agricultural Finance Corporation and Faulu.

One of the greatest challenges faced by the farmers is access to markets for their produce.  They are always at the mercy of opportunistic brokers who buy at throw away prices.

In cases where markets are hard to find,  the harvest rots away or ends up being used to feed cattle hence,  low farm productivity. Nationally, every year, post-harvest loses account for about a third of Kenya’s produce with a big percentage being attributed to poor storage and handling, transport and fungi attack with inaccessibility to markets playing a big role.

In order to address this, Lake Naivasha Basin Water Resources Users Association (LANABWRUA) supported by Sida ‘Leading the Change Project’ undertook a market survey covering five government institutions and forty-three hotels in Lake Naivasha Basin aimed at assessing the market potential for green produce and product preferences by the hotels and institutions. While the result showed considerable interest by the potential buyers, there was still a need for the hotel representatives to visit the farms and inspect the produce at source as well as understand the sustainable production processes. This dispelled any misconceptions they may have especially on how the produce was different from the supplies they get from brokers and their everyday suppliers.

Representatives including chefs from various hotels like Enashipai, Sopa and Kongoni lodges together with Kenya Pipeline Morindat Training Centre visited three farms in Wanjohi in Nyandarua County and had first-hand experience on how to sustainably produce of cabbages, carrots, Irish potatoes and spinach.

 

The chefs were able to interact with farmers who practice sustainable agriculture, by ensuring   food safety, use of certified seeds, use of organic manure, crop rotation, efficient water use and limit water sources pollution.

 
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