By Murimi Gitari, 22 October 2021
During this years’ World Food Day celebrations, top leaders have called for the involvement of young minds in food security matters through science, technology and innovation.
While marking the day at Tender Care Junior Academy in Nairobi, through an event organized by Fun & Education Global Network (FEGNe), Australian High Commissioner to Kenya Luke Williams, appreciated the efforts the organization is putting in place to ensure children in primary schools are part of the global food security journey.
The High Commissioner, who was the chief guest during the celebrations noted climate change as an agricultural challenge that needed to be addressed through the involvement of everyone.
He also launched an agritech project at the school which has partnered with FEGNe and the organization’s Founder and President Kenneth Monjero, commonly known as Dr Fun.
Speaking to PanAfrican Agriculture after the celebrations, Dr Fun said there was need to empower and nurture children on how to grow food other than showing them how to consume the food that has already been produced.
“As we mark this years’ World Food Day, my call out there is for everyone to join hands and help empower these young minds to get them attracted to gardens and agriculture as a whole,” he said.
“Professionals need to go back to primary schools and empower these kids like we are doing as FEGNe. Our aim is to impact the young generation and support sustainable agriculture development in schools.”
The Executive Director of the United Nations (UN‐Habitat) Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, through a recorded speech encouraged agritech institutions and the likes of Amiran Kenya who were part of the celebrations, to support agritech innovations in schools. Amiran Kenya showcased some of their innovations during the event on ways to conserve water during production of crops.
Ms Sharif commended the Kenyan government for the revival of the 4-K clubs in schools noting that the best way to approach agriculture was to make it as inclusive as possible.
She also thanked Dr Fun for coming up with the agritech initiative for schools, which is expected to transform the mindsets of young children towards agriculture.
“The launch of the 4K Clubs in schools is not only going to be utilized for learning but also for addressing food security in schools and its environments,” she added.
The FEGNe program aims to compliment the 4K Clubs by involving learners in the agricultural value chain to address the global challenge of food security, in support of the Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular, SDG 2 on Zero Hunger.
“Our organization runs competent science clubs in schools which incorporate 4k clubs. This includes mobile labs, school agritech gardens, innovation, connection to professionals/industry and presentation in national and international events,” Dr Fun said.
He observed the importance of promoting digital farming in schools with a wide application of ICT along agriculture value chains to create new platforms, reduce urban-rural disparity and utilization of school computer labs and smart phones for learning and productivity.
Tender Care Junior Academy learners showcased some of the crops they had planted and the innovative ways they have embraced to utilize the limited school garden space.
FEGNe has partnered with about 20 schools so far showing their commitment to nurturing and engaging learners in agricultural value chain and development of action networks to address the burden of food security.
In attendance were Prof Ruth Oniango, a Kenyan Professor of Nutrition and a former member of Parliament, a representative of Botswana Ambassador, Mr Duke Lefhoko and Irish Ambassador, Mrs. Fionnuala Quinlan’s representative who all lauded FEGNe’s efforts to awaken learner’s potential in science, technology and innovation.