In Kenya, the Smart Food initiative is implemented by ICRISAT and a variety of partners including:
- Egerton University
- Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO)
- County Departments of Agriculture and Health – Busia, Siaya, Tharaka Nithi, Makueni, Kitui and Elgeyo Marakwet
- Nairobi Technical Training Institute
- Kenyan Kitchen
- Sankara Hotel
- Strathmore University
The Smart Food initiative takes two approaches targeting key audiences:
1. Promoting dietary diversity and utilization of Smart Food in rural communities of Kenya
ICRISAT, in collaboration with the Egerton University, KALRO and the county departments of agriculture and health and partners, is working in six counties in Kenya, including Busia, Siaya, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kitui, Makueni and Tharaka Nithi to promote dietary diversity and consumption of Smart Food. Some of the current activities include:
- Nutrition education of county government staff and community leaders
- Sensitization of communities on the importance of dietary diversity, nutritional value and health benefits of Smart Food. This is being done through the use of behavior change communication approaches – food and nutrition fairs, community radio, mother-to-mother support groups, etc.
- Working with existing social structures to train women and youth on Smart Food recipes for diet diversification.
2. Promoting utilization of Smart Food targeting consumers nationwide
ICRISAT is working with several key influencers to educate Kenyans on the importance of dietary diversity with a special focus on the highly nutritious Smart Food.
This is being done through social media campaigns and television reality shows, workshops, and marketing.
The overall goal of the campaign targeting urban consumers is to promote utilization of Smart Food for better nutrition and to create a demand pull for Smart Food, thereby benefiting smallholder farmers.