Over 200,000 households have been supported under phase 1 of the initiative of establishing 1 million kitchen gardens across the country.
This is according to Anne Nyaga, Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives. “Kitchen gardens have been proven as one of the easiest and fastest ways households can ensure inexpensive, regular and handy supplies of fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, eggs and meat. Well-planned kitchen gardens also guarantee households access to a healthy diet that contain adequate macro and micronutrients as many different kinds of foods can be produced,” Said the CAS. She was speaking during the launch of the Kilimo garden learning site at Kilimo House the Ministry’s headquarters. The call for households to establish 1 million kitchen gardens across the country was made in April 2020 by the Ministry.
“So far, under phase I, 19,750 households have been supported through grants by National Agriculture Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP), 15,000 through Smallholder Irrigation and Value Addition Project (SIVAP) and 171,992 through Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP). Phase II is on-going with SIVAP targeting to support 230,000 households in 21 counties, while KCSAP and NARIGP are supporting the vulnerable households through relevant components. So I appeal to the vulnerable households to apply for the grants under KCSAP and NARIGP. The identification process for the SIVAP beneficiaries is on-going,” said Nyaga.
The Ministry has set up the demonstration and learning site at Kilimo House to demonstrate different technologies available for the establishment of a kitchen garden. The site showcases different technologies that can be used in different Agro-Ecological Zones (AEZ), urban and rural areas. Currently, the learning site has twelve (12) kitchen garden technologies that households can choose from. Counties are required to determine which technologies and vegetables are best suited for their AEZ and implement the home/kitchen gardens. It will be open to the public on Wednesdays.
“The site will from today be open to the public to enable them to experience first hand, the different technologies in home/kitchen gardening. The Ministry is also finalising a training manual for the home/kitchen garden technologies for use by extension service providers. The manual will in addition be circulated to the counties and be shared on the Ministry’s website.
Additionally, the home/kitchen garden technologies have been documented and step by step videos on each technology have been developed. This will enable whoever is interested in adopting technologies to learn how to do them through the videos,” added the CAS.
On nutrition, Nyaga said that food preparation is key and advises that appropriate food preparation methods are used to optimally conserve the nutrients in the various foods. To encourage this, she said the Ministry has developed simple recipes using locally available foods that can be used by the communities to prepare healthy snacks and meals adding the Kenya Recipe Book 2018 is useful reference material for all.
CAS Nyaga also urged parents as they undertake to establish the home/kitchen gardens, to involve their children now that they are at home.