EMPOWERING RURAL COMMUNITIES TO ENHANCE NUTRITION AND INCOME SECURITY THROUGH VALUE ADDITION OF SUNFLOWER
Sunflower has enormous potential to enhance nutrition and income security in many rural areas because it is a rich source of nutrients and high quality oil. The crop can also mitigate the adverse effects of climate change because it is drought tolerant. However, sunflower production in Kenya has continued to decline due to lack of knowledge on appropriate cultivars, unfavorable markets and lack of value addition skills within producer communities. An initiative piloting three rural communities in marginal agricultural lands of eastern Kenya has developed farmers capacities to produce high value sunflower cultivars, add value to the crop, and improve nutrition and income security by addressing inherent weaknesses in the sunflower value chain. This was achieved through effective engagement of key stakeholders in technology validation, application of sustainable processing, packaging and brand development technologies as well as product positioning and linkage to credit sources and markets. Market price improvement increased the value of seed by 200% while value addition increased its income by 280%. The study has shown that sunflower can play a pivotal role in the development of rural areas through improved access to high value edible oil at reduced prices, enhanced household income, savings, rural industrialization and employment creation. Consequently, the program is being up scaled and rolled out to neighboring communities.
Njeru, E.S., Mbogo, P.N., Wanjala, M.M. and Nyakundi, E.M. (2011). EMPOWERING RURAL COMMUNITIES TO ENHANCE NUTRITION AND INCOME SECURITY THROUGH VALUE ADDITION OF SUNFLOWER. Acta Hortic. 911, 303-310
cultivars, processing, oil, press cake, capacity-building, value chain, rural development