Welcome To Website IAS

Hot news

Independence Award

- First Rank - Second Rank - Third Rank

Labour Award

- First Rank - Second Rank -Third Rank

National Award

 - Study on food stuff for animal(2005)

 - Study on rice breeding for export and domestic consumption(2005)


- Hybrid Maize by Single Cross V2002 (2003)

- Tomato Grafting to Manage Ralstonia Disease(2005)

- Cassava variety KM140(2010)

Website links
Vietnamese calendar
Visitors summary
 Curently online :  2
 Total visitors :  4445434

The ‘smart food’ women of Kenya sing a nutritious tune
Sunday, 2019/06/23 | 13:30:24

How do you switch back to more nutritious and climate smart food? Making it fun can help


Figure: A group of women who are leading a push back to traditional grains dance in Marimanti ward of Kenya’s Tharaka Nithi county. Photo: Eleanor Manyasa, ICRISAT


ICRISAT News June 2019


Mary Kathini pulls me into a hug and, with a high-five, sits me down in the shade amid makeshift seats of rocks and tree stumps. Under the harsh equatorial sun of Ntunjia village, this is a warm welcome that brings cheerful hopes and much conversation.


As you soak in the chatter and the enthusiasm, the women – into whose circle I am grateful to be included – point to Mary to answer most of the questions. “She’s our leader” they say – but they make sure their views are also heard every now and then.


About a year ago, this group of women in Marimanti ward of Kenya’s Tharaka Nithi County began to change things for themselves and the rest of their community. It started with an awareness program by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) to help them learn more about nutritious – and climate change resistant – foods through training programs and sharing of recipes.


The women also caught the catchy tagline ‘good for you, the planet and the farmer’ – a reference to ‘Smart Food’ including their traditional grains that have more recently been replaced by other crops.


The awareness campaign has included cookery sessions to help share traditional grain recipes, and a ‘photo voice’ effort to help women document what they are eating and analyze the nutrition of each meal.


As farmers, they learned how changes in their agricultural practices away from sorghum and millet were not necessarily good. Those include ugali, a starchy mash usually from maize flour, and the more recent but increasingly popular chapatis (a round, flattened form of wheat bread).


The women analyzed what they were consuming within the family and learned of the nutrition in traditional foods. There had been a time when sorghum and pearl millet were regularly eaten, though people had moved away from these foods.


The market too has dictated what is consumed in the household. Millet are bought and sold at one-fourth the price of crops like maize or wheat. As farmers and producers, it meant less profit to cultivate sorghum or millet.


With limited opportunity to aggregate and sell collectively, growing millet is less lucrative. The higher priced rice and wheat were being bought from the market since they seemed more ‘attractive’ as foods that everyone was eating.


This too is something these women are now trying to change.


“We started by creating the change among ourselves first,” says Mary. “That is the way it should be. When we learned about nutrition in sorghum and millet and how they are better for us and for our children, we made an effort to change what we were producing as farmers, cooking or even buying and selling in the market.”


The process was not easy, however. “We know how to make it interesting for people,” laughs Purity Karimi. “And we use music and songs to tell them about the importance of nutrition. Since we had already set an example with our own habits, they did take us seriously.”


Asked what songs worked, the women jumped up spontaneously to demonstrate, breaking into a zesty tune.


“Your old food is good” they sang in the Tharaka language, “Eat nutritious food that is better for you.”


To the treat of music was added an impromptu dance of cheerful fellowship. As the sounds of laughter and claps rang out through the little road, passers-by stopped to get a taste of this ‘edutainment’.


The group of 25 women has started the process to formally register their group with the name ‘Mwireri’ that loosely translates to ‘Better Nutrition’. As ICRISAT Communications Officer Eleanor Manyasa hands out aprons as part of the ‘Smart Food’ campaign, the women don them with excitement and new ideas.

Back      Print      View: 276

[ Other News ]___________________________________________________
  • Beyond genes: Protein atlas scores nitrogen fixing duet
  • 2016 Borlaug CAST Communication Award Goes to Dr. Kevin Folta
  • FAO and NEPAD team up to boost rural youth employment in Benin, Cameroon, Malawi and Niger
  • Timely seed distributions in Ethiopia boost crop yields, strengthen communities’ resilience
  • Parliaments must work together in the final stretch against hunger
  • Empowering women farmers in the polder communities of Bangladesh
  • Depression: let’s talk
  • As APEC Concludes, CIP’s Food Security and Climate Smart Agriculture on Full Display
  • CIAT directly engages with the European Cocoa Industry
  • Breeding tool plays a key role in program planning
  • FAO: Transform Agriculture to Address Global Challenges
  • Uganda Holds Banana Research Training for African Scientists and Biotechnology Regulators
  • US Congress Ratifies Historic Global Food Security Treaty
  • Fruit Fly`s Genetic Code Revealed
  • Seminar at EU Parliament Tackles GM Crops Concerns
  • JICA and IRRI ignites a “seed revolution” for African and Asian farmers
  • OsABCG26 Vital in Anther Cuticle and Pollen Exine Formation in Rice
  • Akira Tanaka, IRRI’s first physiologist, passes away
  • WHO calls for immediate safe evacuation of the sick and wounded from conflict areas
  • Farmer Field School in Tonga continues to break new ground in the Pacific for training young farmers
Designed & Powered by WEBSO CO.,LTD