There’s an interesting juxtaposition of material in today’s Nation. Unfortunately, none of it is online so you’ll just have to take my word for it, unless you live in Kenya that is. On the one hand there’s an advertising feature announcing the launch of fortified fats and oils. The four-page spread says that “a team representing government, the standards setting body, testing agencies and the private sector brought Vitamin A-fortified oil to the supermarket shelves in only 130 days.” It includes statements by the Ministers of Health and of Trade & Industry, the Director of Medical Services, the Director of the Bureau of Standards, the Director of the Kenya Medical Research Institute and the Africa Regional Director of the Micronutrient Initiative. The mid-term review of the effort is on the Micronutrient Initiative website here.
Interestingly, the Ministry of Agriculture seems not to have been involved, but in a different part of the paper there’s an article about the widespread and rapid adoption of new, vitamin A-rich sweet potato varieties by communities in western Kenya as part of a project funded by Farm-Africa under the Community Mobilisation Against Desertification (CMAD) programme, in which that ministry did take part. A women’s group in Homa Bay has set up a bakery that uses sweet potato flower mixed with wheat to make bread, cakes and other products for local schools and hospitals.
So, two contrasting ways of trying to achieve the same thing: and end to hidden hunger. I wonder which approach will end up proving better value for money? Do we need both?