Food aid may soon be a thing of the past in Turkana County

Turkana, is one of Kenya’s poorest county's with 87% of people living below the poverty line and as many as 82% have never attended school.

USAID Administrator, Mark Green has announced the selection of 12 target countries for the next phase in America's global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future.

Kenya and specifically Turkana has been earmarked and is set to benefit from the initiative which will also run similar programmes in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda.

The second phase of Feed the Future will be focusing its efforts on promoting long-term, sustainable development that brings partners together to help people harness the power of smart agriculture to jumpstart their local economies and lift themselves out of poverty.

By supporting small-scale food producers and enterprises, USAID hopes to empower these vulnerable communities to reduce reliance on food aid while at the same time improving nutritional diversity.

In five years in Turkana, USADF has invested $5 million and generated new revenues of $16 million, reaching over 50,000 people to strengthen local food security.

Women and Youth from Turkana will be trained as apprentices and empowered to take over managing the enterprise once the funding ends, this will ensure crucial knowledge gains are not lost.

Some of the skills and knowledge they will be equipped with include; good governance, financial management, agronomy, fishing and livestock marketing.

Already the initiative is bearing fruits with the residents learning how to use irrigation techniques to grow vegetables in the harsh Turkana climate.

Last year, Achukule Agro-Forestry Tree Nursery received funding from the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) towards drilling a borehole and the group has already installed drip irrigation pipes and quadrupled their vegetable production.

USADF is one of Feed the Future's 11 participating U.S. Government partners and addresses food insecurity by focusing at the grassroots, giving farmers a voice and a choice in their economic development priorities.

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