Traditional African Vegetables (TAVs) have been part of the food systems in sub-Saharan Africa for generations, offering most of the daily requirements for vitamins A, B complex, C and minerals alike, yet many of these crops are currently underutilized and their nutritional value is widely unknown (IPGRI, 1997). The result of this is a chronic under nutrition affecting about 43% of the Sub Saharan region’s population (FAO, 1996). 

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Global research suggests that there currently exists a huge deficit in the production of maize vis-à-vis the demand. According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), by the year 2020, the global cereal demand will be at an approximate 2.1 billion MT and will, for the first time, show a major shift in favor of maize with demand estimated at 852 million MT compared to 760 million MT for wheat and 503 million MT for rice. Thus, global demand for maize in 2020 will increase by 45%, a substantial growth of 72% for maize in developing countries. This means that globally, an additional 266 million MT of maize will need to be produced, 80% of which is required for the developing nations. 

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Farm Concern International (FCI), last week, had the great pleasure of taking part in the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture, 2015 (GFIA) held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. FCI represented by its Africa Director, Mr. David Ruchiu, joined participants from 65 other countries from across the globe to share one of its innovations (AFMA-X, African Farms and Markets Exchange) technology. 

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John Riungu, FCI’s Senior Programmes Manager in an exclusive interview, revealed the pricey and exceptional milestones Farm Concern International (FCI) goes to just ensure agriculture remains relevant in the current Africa’s economy. 

What’s the event all about?

Embu Open Tournament is a platform where sports meet agriculture. The event brings all the County colleges and secondary schools together for various sports competition but most significant, impart the agriculture knowledge to the young mind.

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The World Bank has granted Ksh6.5 billion to Kenyan Government to mitigate livestock farmers against losses occurred during dry seasons. Agriculture and livestock principal secretary Fred Segor said that the money will go towards the implementation of Regional Pastoral Livelihoods Resilience Project (RPLRP) which aims at ending drought, emergency and livestock diseases.

This comes barely a month after Farm Concern International (FCI), with support from Tear Fund UK launched Commercialization and Market Linkages for Agro-Pastoralists project, (CoMAP), in Marsabit Sub-County. The project aims to increase households’ income through integrated agro-pastoralist Commercialization, Value Chain Efficiency and Market Development in Marsabit Sub-County. 

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FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond