Tackling Declining Food Production, Poverty In Populous Western Kenya

Photo by Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization

By UN Environment

Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa have pockets of food insecurity. These can appear and develop for many reasons. And in some cases, simple nature-based solutions can make a significant difference in people’s lives.

Vihiga County, western Kenya—one of the most densely populated of the country’s 47 counties with an average household farm size of 0.4 hectares—is characterized by a high rate of population growth and dwindling farm sizes, and a land that is increasingly becoming uneconomical for farming. Pressure on land has led to a decline in food production and an increase in poverty. As a result, people are now moving into Kakamega rainforest in search of land for farming and settlement, causing severe destruction to the forest ecosystem.

To tackle these problems, the county government of Vihiga, in February 2017, decided to prioritize the commercialization of African indigenous vegetables to boost farmers’ incomes. Some 2,500 farmers have been recruited, in an exercise started in June 2018 to increase the production of these vegetables. Read more>>


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