Taste and nutrition company Kerry Group, and Irish humanitarian organisation Concern Worldwide have announced a four-year partnership that aims to improve the lives of 46,000 Kenyans by providing access to climate-smart agricultural practices.
They will collaborate to improve food security, boost household income and reduce malnutrition levels in the Tana River region by training farmers, as well as providing access to climate resilient seeds and opening new areas for agricultural production and irrigation.
Many of the Tana River farmers are reliant on livestock farming, according to Concern - but climate change has led to water insecurity and pasture deterioration, causing death and declines in livestock productivity, thereby wiping household income and food security.
Concern has identified an opportunity to tackle these challenges in the Tana River, which has 200,000 mango trees growing along its banks. With financial support from Kerry, and using river water for irrigation, it said the Agricultural Livelihoods Improving Value Chains and the Environment (ALIVE) project will create a regional value chain for mango production to benefit female growers, creating a new income stream for their families.
Participants will receive training on post-harvest handling, support for mango processing at community level and the introduction of post-harvest processing machines. Importantly, mango production is more resilient to the impact of climate change and harnesses the resources of the Tana River, which is susceptible to flooding.
"This is an opportunity to further positively impact the lives of farming communities at the sharp end of climate change - incorporating factors such as skills training, access to capital, markets, employment and improving health and nutrition levels," said Carol Morgan, Concern's Director of International Programmes.
Catherine Keogh, Chief Corporate Affairs and Brand Officer of Kerry said that by removing barriers to progress, they aim to improve the lives of local farmers and their families.
"The focus on climate-smart solutions and health and nutrition support will create long term value and support some of those most affected by hunger and malnutrition," she said.
"This World Food Day, we are reminded of our responsibility to deliver sustainable nutrition across the globe and we are extremely proud to partner with Concern once again to devise innovative solutions to help make Zero Hunger a reality," she added.