Food System Lab in Kisumu, Kenya

Africa has vast potential for food production; however,population growth, rapid urbanization and climate change pose significant challenges to food security throughout the continent. In collaboration with the European Union’s Healthy Food Africa initiative, the Alliance’s Food Environment and Consumer Behavior research team is leading the Food System Lab for Kisumu, Kenya. The East African nation’s third-largest city underscores both the problems and the opportunities for local solutions. Kisumu is set on the shores of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, but fish production is too low to meet demand: fish is imported from China for those who can afford it. Food poverty is pervasive and diets are dominated by maize meal, which is low in essential nutrients. New initiatives supported by local partners and the Food Systems Lab include sustainable aquaculture and strengthened links between urban consumers and the producers of leafy vegetables outside the city, who have the production potential to meet growing demand. Together with on-the-ground training, empowering women and youth, and improving governance in the food system, the project is creating enduring improvements to food systems in Kisumu.

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