To promote climate smart and nutritive crops like millets and sorghum, 60 science journalists from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda were invited for an interaction to learn about these ‘smart foods’.

Dr Moses Siambi, Regional Director, ICRISAT Eastern and Southern Africa, briefed the journalists on ICRISAT’s Smart Food initiative. “It’s time to bring traditional foods back on the dining table,” he emphasized, urging the participants to join hands with ICRISAT to raise awareness and create demand for smart food in the region which will benefit the farmers, consumers and the planet.

ICRISAT has embarked on efforts in Kenya to develop the entire value chains of four crops – sorghum, millets, pigeonpea and groundnut – from seed to consumption. This is under the ‘Feed the Future Kenya Accelerated Value Chain Development Program’ which seeks to improve household nutrition by diversifying diets and increasing household incomes from marketable surplus.

Given the role of mass media in informing, influencing, and motivating individuals, institutions, and communities, the project team will work closely with the media in the country to raise awareness about the health benefits of dryland cereals and legumes in Kenya.

Participants said the interaction was an ‘eye opener’: The group of journalists was attending the Kenya Science Journalists Congress in Nairobi, organized by the Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (MESHA), a professional association whose objective is to create forums for networking and collaboration between scientists, journalists and government for better communication.

The activity is taken part of the USAID supported Feed the Future Kenya Accelerated Value Chain Development Program which is undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Programs on Dryland Cereals and on Grian Legumes.

Source: Adapted from ICRISAT Happenigns