Empowering women and youth as food prices skyrocket

NICE event
NICE Project team updates Kenyan officials


The NICE partners in Kenya(*) recently updated key government officials on project progress. Chief Guest was the Rt. Hon. Kenneth Lusaka, Governor of Bungoma County. Moderated by our project consultant Wilson Songa, the meeting addressed urban nutrition and food safety, and ways to scale up the work. Lusaka emphasized that “there is a need to focus on food security and ensure that women and youth are encouraged to participate in agriculture and nutrition.” 

NICE aims to improve nutrition and health and reduce poverty in secondary cities. It does so by increasing the demand and supply of nutritious foods produced using agroecological practices. The participating cities are increasingly empowered to take the lead. Local government and multisector platforms support peer learning and experience-sharing as well as scale-up.

Lucy Kioko, our Regional Director East Africa, opened the meeting. “We are happy to collaborate in this project that benefits smallholder farmers, and we hope to continue the good discussions around nutrition and food security”, she declared.

The Hon. Monicah Fedha, responsible for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Irrigation and Cooperatives in Bungoma County, made her position clear. “The NICE project is providing solutions for adequate and safe production of foods”, she said. “As cities we should collaborate more to empower women and youth in value chains such as poultry.” 

Her Busia County counterpart Mercy Imo noted that NICE has brought on board several departments to focus on women and youth. Imo described these population groups as “drivers in production”, adding that Busia is “ready to support and looks forward to scale-up opportunities”.

Arthur Odera, Deputy Governor of Busia County, remarked that there is a need to increase peer learning between Busia and Bungoma. Such exchanges serve the prosperity of the whole region.

Representing our Kenyan team were NICE Project Manager Elizabeth Imbo and Program Coordinators Sammy Adieno (Bungoma) and Daniel Nyauke (Busia). They laid out the achievements so far. Elizabeth also stressed the vital importance of this work: “The cost of food is skyrocketing. We need to work smartly, especially in urban areas. We must sustainably increase production and ensure we continue working on the key project outcome areas that touch on governments, production and increase of demand.” 

The final plenary session highlighted how Health and Agriculture departments have been working together to ensure all stakeholders are involved. There is still a need to encourage more youth to participate in agriculture. For school pupils, “4K” Clubs and feeding initiatives play key roles. 

* The NICE partners are listed here.