AWAK's focus on Nutrition .

Nutrition and food security is achieved when all individuals have reliable access to sufficient quantities of affordable, nutritious food to lead a healthy life. Climate change is already affecting food security with studies from both large-scale and smallholder farming systems showing declines in crop productivity related to rising temperatures and changes in precipitation.

Decreased yields on the other hand impact the nutrient intake by decreasing supplies of highly nutritious crops. We believe that understanding the full range of climate impacts on crop production is important for projecting future food security, especially related to dietary diversity and healthy diets.

At AWAK our focus on nutrition and food security is based on four main areas i.e., Availability, Access, appropriate Utilization and sustainability. We work with the vulnerable women farmers across the country to ensure that they can grow nutritious food in their available pieces of land which are easily accessible, we give them lessons on the best way they can utilize the food i.e., how best to consume it and ensure that the food is able to sustain their families for long periods of time.

We have adopted Soil Health as a means to achieving nutrition and food security. Does soil health directly impact the nutritional quality of food? “There is a very direct link between the health of the soil and the health of the plant. If you have diseased soil, you can’t have a healthy plant. Healthy soil grows healthy food, and healthy food makes for healthy people. When we talk about soil health, we are describing its capacity to be used productively without negatively impacting its future productivity, the ecosystem, or the environment.

Biochar production is a very important component of soil health and we have been able to train women from Nyamira, Kisumu and Kakamega Counties on the same. Biochar is produced by heating biomass in the total or partial absence of oxygen and Pyrolysis is the most common technology employed in the production. We donated Drumkilns that are used during the production to the women beneficiaries which were offered to us by IITA. Benefits of Biochar include:

  • Improvement of soil fertility
  • Increase in crop yields
  • Better water retention and drainage
  • Better water retention and drainage
  • Reduction of soil acidity
  • Adsorption of soil pollutants
  • Increase in plant disease resistance
  • Catching and storing carbon