by Maximilla Wafula
The International , non- Profit economic development organization TechnoServe has today officially launched a program that aims to widen the variety of Fortified foods , ensuring Kenyan consumers continue to have access to nutritious meals .
TechnoServe , with the support from a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation , has launched the technical Assistance Accelerator program ( TAAP) which aims at increasing the level and variety of Fortified foods by working with stakeholders to Increase compliance
TAAP will provide technical assistance and advocate for high – quality inputs to , among others , large and small -scale miller’s , action are aimed at motivating these stakeholders to comply with national fortification regulations.
The Covid- pandemic and Russia-Ukraine conflict have disrupted supply chains upending the global trade of Agricultural goods , while three consecutive years of drought in East Africa has resulted in growing levels of food and scarcity and hunger . Mounting increase in the price of food staples has also forced households to alter their diets , likely impacting their consumption of essentials nutrients . The prospect of lower calorie intakes increases the importance of fortifying staple food such as maize flour , rice and edible oil, said Dominic ( Schofield ).
TAAP will strengthen African Processors on fortified Foods (SAPFF) program launched in 2017 which worked towards to increase food fortification compliance levels in two staples in Kenya -wheat and Maize flour .
TAAP will work with various stakeholders including the ministry of Health , the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS ), Cereal Miller’s Association (CMA) , Kenya Association of Manufacture’s (KAM), United Grain Miller’s Association (UGMA), development partners and a academic institutions .
Food fortification has been widely identified as a cost effective strategy for addressing micronutrients malnutrition at scale .In Kenya , more than one in four children under the age of five is stunted , with poor nutrition a prime factor in nearly a third of deaths of children under five . Malnutrition also contributes to poor growth and physiological deficiencies in children , birth defects , high rates of disability and illness , and overall lower productivity , which can reduce Counties GDPs