18 Jul 2020

Development banks funding industrial farms around the world | Interview with The Guardian, on Food Security

Experts who spoke to the Bureau emphasised that there should not be a one-size-fits-all approach to addressing the livestock sector’s impact on the climate crisis.

Dr Catherine Nkirote Kunyanga, a senior lecturer at the University of Nairobi’s Food Security Center, said expanding affordable livestock production was incredibly important in many countries where households still cannot maintain a healthy diet due to income or geography.

“One of the things we promote in nutrition is people consuming more animal-based protein, to actually address protein energy malnutrition, which is very rampant in Africa,” she said, adding that in some regions where the climate and soil do not suit growing crops, livestock farming is key to job security as well as nutrition.

She said global calls to reduce meat and dairy consumption to address climate change should be directed at western countries and that multilateral development banks should only invest in livestock expansion in countries with low meat-consumption levels.

Read the full article


08 Oct 2019

Regional Workshop on ”Sustainable Safe Food Systems in Africa: Moving towards a Sustainable Food Future”

The Food Security Centre at the University of Nairobi coordinated by Dr. Catherine Kunyanga organized a three day workshop ( 23rd – 25TH September, 2019)  on ‘’Sustainable Safe Food Systems in Africa; Moving towards a Food Secure Future’’. The workshop was held at Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies. The aim of the workshop was to discuss innovative and effective scientific findings to promote sustainable safe food systems, contributing towards the major SDG goals, in particular to Zero poverty (SDG 1) and Zero hunger (SDG 2). It brought together young Scientists from Uganda, Cameron, Lebanon, Zambia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda, Nigeria, South Sudan and Kenya.

The Official day was opened by Prof. George Chemining’wa, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture representing Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Affairs (Prof. Julius A. Ogeng’o) and Principal, CAVs (Prof. Rose Nyikal). The Keynote speakers were Dr. Lamis Jomaa, American University of Beirut and Prof. Sylvain Leroy Sado Kamdem, University of Yaoundé, Cameroon. The Keynotes presentation and country status reports by young scientists all addressing the theme of the workshop opened a platform for learning and change of perspectives. The highlight of the workshop was an excursion tour to Meru Greens EPZ in Kitengela that show cased agro-processing of vegetables and empowerment of youth and small holder farmers in Kenya.


09 Sep 2019

2019 Food Security Center Regional Workshop

The Food Security Center (FSC), University of Nairobi (UoN) in collaboration with the University of Hohenheim, Germany, is holding a FSC Regional workshop whose theme is “Sustainable Safe Food Systems in Africa: Moving towards a Sustainable Food Future” starting today 23rd till 26th September, 2019 at the Nelson Mandela Conference Hall in the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, University of Nairobi.



19 Jun 2019

Strengthening Agri-Food Systems in Africa for Food and Nutrition Security Seminar

This SHORT COURSE training is organized by the Food Security Center, University of Nairobi (Kenya) and the University of Hohenheim (Germany).
Venue and dates: The course will be held at the College of Agriculture and Veterinary sciences, University of Nairobi from 17th to 20th June, 2019.
Participants: The course is open to postgraduate students and young scientists working in the
area of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Sciences. Non-Kenyan applicants are encouraged to apply. Guest Speakers are Prof. Peter Ekunwe, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria and Dr. Eric Towett,
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF).

03 Apr 2019

IPM training

Intellectual Property Management Training was held on 20th March at the University of Nairobi, Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Technology.

Training focus was the the undergraduate and postgraduate students of the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Technology were trained on intellectual property rights especially patents, trade marks and industrial designs to enable them protect their research results and outputs specifically innovations and new products developed during their studies.
They were also trained on technology transfer and commercialization of research results including entrepreneurship skills to increase their research visibility and create jobs later when they graduate.
 The Guest lectures: Prof Justus Mulwa – Director, Intellectual Property Management Office (IPMO), University of Nairobi and Dr. John Maina – IPMO officer, University of Nairobi.
The convener of this event was Dr. Catherine Kunyanga, Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Technology, Unievrsity of Nairobi
01 Mar 2019

4th International Congress Hidden Hunger

The 4th International Congress Hidden Hunger 2019, 26th Feb to 1st March at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany.2019, 26th Feb to 1st March at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany. Hidden hunger and the transformation of food systems: How to combat the double burden of malnutrition?
The topics of Congress Hidden Hunger:
1. The double burden of malnutrition: Prevalence, causes and consequences
2. The role of the private sector in the prevention of the double burden
3. Policies and strategies to combat the double burden of malnutrition
4. Different types of interventions: What works where and why?
5. Reflections on research needs

17 Dec 2018

Short Course Training

on the Role of Technology, Policy Advocacy and Extension in addressing Food security

The Food Security Centre (FSC), University of Nairobi coordinated by Dr. Catherine Kunyanga organized a short course training on “Role of Technology, Policy Advocacy and Extension in addressing Food security” at the 844 building in the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, University of Nairobi. The training was sponsored by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) under the Food Security Center, University of Hohenheim.

The training was a realization that Food and nutrition insecurity is a global challenge especially to the human welfare and economic growth. In attendance were young scientists from different countries including Kenya, South Sudan, Nigeria, Zambia and Uganda. Different Universities including University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Karatina University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology were also represented. The county officials and private sector were among the policy representatives who also attended the training.

The Participants were trained on;

  1. Technologies developed in agriculture especially in CAVs to address food insecurity and specifically food loss.
  2. Role of technology and scientific innovations in enhancing agricultural development.
  3. Current research on technologies in addressing food insecurity.
  4. The role of technologies in addressing food insecurity and towards zero hunger in Africa.
  5. Challenges to scaling up and adoption of the technologies
  6. Technology adoption and the multiple dimensions of food Security.
  7. Overview of Agricultural and Food Policies in Kenya.
  8. Strengthening National Networks for Policy Influence in African Agriculture.
  9. Policy formulation process and advocacy; Food security policies
  10. Transforming Science into Policy and Practice for Food Security
  11. Case study; community programs that advocate for food security
  12. Extension and policy advocacy in addressing food and nutrition security
  13. Agricultural extension services. Classification of extension services

Benefits & limitations.

  1. Case studies: Digital and extension services.


The guest speakers were Dr. Nicholas Ozor, Executive director of African Technology and Policy Studies Network and Prof Gabriel Okafor, Visiting Scholar from Michigan State University, USA and Department of food Science and Technology, University of Nigeria Nsukka. Other invited speakers included Prof. Ratemo Michieka, Prof. John Kimenju, Prof. John Mburu, Dr. Jane Ambuko, Dr. Louise Ngugi, Dr. Samuel Mburu and Dr. Sophie Ngala. The training was delivered in a more participatory way with the inclusion of questions and answers session. It offered an excellent opportunity for knowledge sharing and also networking. The participants gained a lot of insight on the theme of the training and had great interactive sessions with all the speakers. The training was highly rated in the evaluation and the participants were looking forward to future FSC activities.




16 Nov 2018

Nairobi Conference

Water Security and Climate Change Conference

Achieving water security is one of the major challenges faced by society at both global and local levels, since it is essential to promote economic and social development as well as resource sustainability. Recent global agreements such as the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction relate substantially to questions of water security.

The necessity of a platform for academics and practitioners from various sectors to discuss the diverse facets of water security in dynamic environments and its relation to climate variability and change was highlighted during the WSCC 2016 conference at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, which forms the rationale behind the WSCC 2017.

The WSCC 2017 at TH Cologne aimed to build a bridge between disciplines, sectors and different groups of stakeholders. The conference served as a platform for discussions towards water secure societies by providing a stimulating environment in which to yield innovative ideas and offer feasible means of implementing options.

The WSCC 2018 at Kenyatta University takes up the “bridge-building” aspect of WCSS 2017 and will provide continuity in serving as a platform for discussions towards water secure societies. The conference will be a stimulus for discussing new and innovative ideas with special attention to SDGs dealing with “Zero Hunger and Food Security”, “Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation”, “Clean Water and Sanitation”, “Sustainable Cities and Communities”, and “Combating climate change and its impacts”.

In all aspects, water security is the main focus, as reflected in the conference sessions and dialogue forums. Space is given to meet the new dimensions and perspectives in the current discourse on water security and related SDGs. Against this background researchers, professionals, practitioners, politicians, industry, NGOs and other thematically involved societal groups are invited to enter the interactive, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary conference space.

16 Nov 2018

Summer School

2018 FSC Summer School in Costa Rica

Food and Nutrition Security from the Planetary to the Household Level

University of Costa Rica
12 to 30 November 2018

Food and nutrition security issues are very tight interlinked with agricultural, environmental, educational and political determinants. To reduce food insecurity a comprehensive approach needs to be implemented with the involvement of actors from different levels and disciplines. Decisions taken have direct impacts on the individual citizen, the household, the community, and up to the country, (sub-)continent and world level. This summer school aims at considering this multi-layer approach to address food and nutrition security at the different levels.

Peach palm - Tucurrique, Costa Rica

This Summer School was jointly organized by the University of Costa Rica and the Food Security Center of the University of Hohenheim (Germany), and funded through the DAAD with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in the frame of the Exceed (“Higher Education Excellence in Development Cooperation”) program.

Venue and dates:

The course is being held in Costa Rica, from 12 to 30 November 2018, the first week at the Brunca Region (close to the Panamanian border) and the last two weeks at the University of Costa Rica (main campus in San José).


12 PhD students were accepted and the Food Security Center of the University of Hohenheim (Germany) offered scholarships for applicants from countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America listed in OECD DAC, allowing them to cover costs of airplane tickets, accommodation, meals, and transportation in Costa Rica.


Three modules were organized:

  • Module 1 (November, 12 – 16, 2018): Planetary Health: Perspectives from Costa Rica (Dr. Carlos Faerron, Organization for Tropical Studies, Costa Rica): Participants were immersed in activities that facilitate the internalization of concepts such as environmental health, global health and sustainable development, surrounded by the complexity of correlations between each other. This process of conceptual integration was mediated through problem-based learning, critical discussion exercises and a variable set of community interactions. Broad environmental scenarios and challenges such as atmospheric pollution, water sanitation and hygiene, climate change, agroindustrial development, biodiversity loss, among others, and their respective extension to health and development were the framework to generate efforts that identify strategies to address these issues.
  • Module 2 (November, 19 – 23, 2018): Food and Nutrition Security - Strategies for a better life(Dr. Friederike Bellin-Sesay, visiting lecturer and consultant, Germany): Concept of International Food and Nutrition Security. What impedes International Food and Nutrition Security – Problems of food aid, gender inequality and lack in dietary diversity, land deals etc. Topics were assigned to participants to relate them to the situation in their countries of origin.
  • Module 3 (November, 26 – 30, 2018): Food and Nutrition Security, the Brazilian experience (Dr.Muriel Gubert (Universidade de Brasília, Brazil): Food insecurity measurement, food insecurity and malnutrition/health outcomes, breastfeeding - the first food to promote food security, food security policies and programs. The course used participatory approaches as much as possible, including; lecture/presentation, discussions and group work. Participants were given reading material for discussion during the course.