KENYA – Non-profit international development organization TechnoServe has launched a program known as the Technical Assistance Accelerator Programme (TAAP), aimed at increasing the diversity of fortified foods available to consumers.
During the launch of the programme that was also graced by private sector and Government agencies, Dominic Schofield, the Director of the TechnoServe Global Program, explained how the program will further guarantee that Kenyan consumers will continue to have access to wholesome food.
According to him, the TAAP is vital to ensure that consumers have access to nutrition at a time when supply chain disruptions and high food prices are affecting consumption patterns.
“For example, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has disrupted supply chains and upended the global trade of agricultural goods, mounting increases in the price of food staples has also forced households to alter their diets, likely impacting their consumption of essential nutrients,” said Schofield.
Food fortification has been widely identified as a cost-effective strategy for addressing micronutrient malnutrition at scale, the prospect of lower calorie intakes increases the importance of fortifying staple foods such as maize flour, rice and edible oil, he added.
Schofield disclosed that the programme will provide technical assistance and advocate for high quality inputs to, among others; large- and small-scale millers in an effort to motivate these stakeholders to comply with national fortification regulations.
TAAP follows the Strengthening African Processors on Fortified Foods (SAPFF) program, which was established in 2017 and aimed to raise compliance levels with food fortification among two staples of Kenya: wheat and maize flour.
The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), the Ministry of Health, and the Cereal Millers Association are just a few of the essential parties that Schofield revealed TAAP aims to collaborate with.
Esther Ngari, Director of Standards Development and International Trade at KEBS, lauded all organizations, public and private, involved in food fortification, for collaborating closely through a variety of structures like the Kenya National Food Fortification Alliance, which has significantly raised compliance levels over time.
Schofield Revealed that TAAP intends to work with all relevant stakeholders including the Ministry of Health, The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and Cereal Millers Association, as reported by Kenya News Agency.
“I am proud that in food fortification, we have got to a level that as a country, challenges are addressed scientifically resulting in long lasting solutions,” he said.
Ngari emphasized that for the program to reach its full potential, it must be administered effectively and efficiently.