From Dialogues to Clear Action Plans: Kenya’s Path to Sustainable Food Systems – The 2024-2030 Kenya Food Systems and Land Use Action Plan
Kenya, like many nations across the globe, faces a critical challenge: transforming its food systems to secure a brighter future for its people, nature, and the climate. The Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) is at the forefront of this transformation, advocating for science-based solutions and fostering a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Kenya’s food systems currently are unsustainable, contributing to national carbon emissions, biodiversity loss, and widespread hunger and malnutrition, particularly among women. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the fragility of these systems and underscored the urgency of change. Inclusivity and equity must be at the heart of any food systems transformation.
Devolution: A Catalyst for Localized Solutions in a Multistakeholder Approach
One of Kenya’s strengths in addressing these issues lies in its devolved governance structure. Devolution empowers local authorities to tailor solutions to the unique challenges faced by various regions. Recognizing this potential, we must integrate a context-specific approach into our efforts, embracing inclusivity and innovation as vital enablers of food system transformation. In this journey, innovation is not just a tool but a prerequisite for success. To effectively address the multifaceted challenges within Kenya’s food systems, it’s essential to promote national multistakeholder transformations while collaborating at regional and global levels. This approach fosters collective action and cooperation, essential in tackling issues that transcend borders.
FOLU Kenya’s Role
In response to these challenges, FOLU Kenya is working closely with the Kenyan government, collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development and allied ministries. The goal is to develop the Kenya Food Systems and Land Use Action Plan 2024-2030. This document will provide a roadmap for players within the food and land use sectors, guiding them towards sustainability and enhanced coordination.
Central to this initiative are the workshops organized by FOLU Kenya secretariat, comprised of AGRA, GAIN, and WRI Africa. These workshops aimed to engage a wide range of stakeholders in the development of the Kenya Food Systems and Land Use Action Plan. A team of experts, representing diverse institutions developed oversaw the development of the plan’s zero draft. Additionally, a series of consultative meetings with stakeholders from various sectors were organized to provide valuable input into the process. The workshops were key to build a consensus on Challenges and Recommendations. Stakeholders came together to identify and agree upon the most pressing challenges faced by Kenya’s food systems and proposed actionable recommendations.
The workshops served as a platform for Food Systems and Land Use stakeholders in Kenya, encompassing agriculture, SMEs, policy makers, water management, climate resilience, natural resource management, sustainable consumption, and healthy diets, among others. Expert consultants facilitated these sessions, ensuring that the process was robust and inclusive. The consultations involved a series of workshops with participants drawn from all the 47 counties through the various regional economic blocks in Kenya.
The journey towards transforming Kenya’s food systems and land use practices is a complex but essential one. Through dialogue, collaboration, innovation, clear action plans, monitoring and coordination mechanisms, we can pave the way for a sustainable future. The Kenya Food Systems and Land Use Action Plan 2024-2030 represents a pivotal step in this journey, offering a clear roadmap towards a better, more equitable, and environmentally responsible food system. Together, we can make it a reality.
Figure 2: Eng Laban Kiplagat Director for Land and Environment in the Ministry of Agriculture, Kibibi Abdalla CEC for Agriculture and Blue Economy speaking at the Coast region consultations and the Healthy diets workstream provide their input to the plan.
Figure 3: A section of participants pose for a photo at the Mt Kenya and Aberdare region consultative workshop in Nanyuki.
Figure 4: A section of participants pose for a photo at the North Rift Economic Block consultative workshop in Eldoret.
Figure 5: Willy Toa-MOA and John Macharia- Country Manager Kenya addressing participants during the Nanyuki and Machakos Consultative meetings respectively.