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Kerry Group partners with Concern Worldwide to Support Kenyan Farmers
Kerry Group, the world’s leading taste and nutrition company, and Irish humanitarian organisation Concern Worldwide today 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, 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, 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.
Commenting on the partnership, Concern’s Director of International Programmes, Carol Morgan said: “Climate change is having a devastating impact on the region, with the loss of pasturelands and the reduction in water supplies. Many households in Tana River depend on this traditional way of livestock rearing, but we are seeing that the full potential of the mango crop is untapped. 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.
Catherine Keogh, Chief Corporate Affairs and Brand Officer of Kerry added: "By removing barriers to progress, we 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. This World Food Day (October 16), 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.”
Boost household incomes
In addition, farmers will be empowered to interact with markets, with an aim to improve household incomes by 20% annually, forming farmer-producer cooperatives and establishing relationships with regional processors and traders. Many farmers are not organised in any form of cooperative and they rely on local traders and handling agents - as a result they get low farm gate prices for their produce.
The project also targets malnutrition among children aged under-five and mothers in the community, which will see the scaling up of health and malnutrition screening and improving health and nutrition knowledge and care practices.
The ALIVE project builds on a partnership between Concern and the Kerry Group which spans over 12 years and has positively impacted on the lives of thousands of people in Niger, Zambia and Kenya.
Kerry is the world's leading taste and nutrition partner for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical markets. We innovate with our customers to create great tasting products, with improved nutrition and functionality, while ensuring better impact for the planet. Our leading consumer insights, global RD&A team of 1,100+ food scientists and extensive global footprint enable us to solve our customers' complex challenges with differentiated solutions. At Kerry, we are driven to be our customers' most valued partner, creating a world of sustainable nutrition, and to reach over 2 billion consumers with sustainable nutrition solutions by 2030.
About Concern Worldwide
Concern Worldwide is Ireland’s largest overseas development organisation. It currently works in 25 of the world’s poorest countries and last year helped 39 million people. Concern’s vision, mission and work are all defined by one goal – ending extreme poverty, whatever it takes. We strive for a world free from poverty, fear and oppression. Concern delivers life-saving and life-changing interventions to the world's poorest and most vulnerable people. From rapid emergency response to innovative development programming, our teams go to the hardest to reach places to make sure that no-one is left behind.
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