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30 Companies Launch Action To Reduce Hunger In Kenya

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  • 30 Companies Launch Action To Reduce Hunger In Kenya

    30 Companies Launch Action To Reduce Hunger In Kenya

    Business Alliance will help communities improve food production, nutrition and incomes

    Nairobi, Kenya, 8 December 2006 ? Today thirty Kenyan and multinational businesses launched an action plan to reduce hunger in cooperation with government, NGO and agency partners forming part of the Business Alliance Against Chronic Hunger. The group is implementing "quick win" and business-development strategies to increase food production, nutrition and incomes in communities affected by chronic hunger.
    The alliance, which is facilitated by the Swiss-based World Economic Forum, launched its Kenya National Council in June 2006. Alliance partners are focusing initial efforts on Siaya District as the pilot location to develop workable models of business partnerships to reduce hunger.
    Unilever, Coca-Cola, Monsanto, Sealed Air, Tetra Pak, Motorola, TNT and Land ?O Lakes were among the multinational companies pledging action. They were joined by leading Kenyan and regional companies such as Nakumatt Holdings, Safaricom, National Oil Corporation of Kenya, Promasidor, HoneyCare Africa, Western Seed Company, Dominion Farms and Osho Chemical. The government of Kenya, NGO and agency leaders pledged support and collaboration to help communities establish business linkages and strengthen their business development capacity.
    "What is new in this approach is the effort to harness the knowledge, competencies and capabilities of the private sector with others to generate innovative solutions to hunger," said David Mureithi, Chief Executive Officer of Unilever Kenya, which is working with district communities to source locally-grown produce. "This partnership has taken shape and is on track to become a unique and successful model for others."
    The alliance?s action plan calls for improving production of staple and high-value crops and strengthening entrepreneurship capacity to facilitate business development activity. Partners also reported progress on "quick win" actions that will generate near-term impact. These include:
    • A pilot voucher programme for agricultural inputs, which will provide access to seeds and fertilizer for 11,000 farmers
    • Business linkages for companies to source specific high-value products (vegetables, honey, spices) from the district
    • A guaranteed purchase agreement for staple crops
    • Feasibility assessments for commercial-scale processing facilities
    • Training women farmers in processing, packaging and marketing soy products
    "Investing in value-added activities like food processing can generate both healthier food and more income," said Anders Lindgren, Managing Director of Tetra Pak Kenya. "The alliance is focusing on strengthening value chains for key products and opening up commercial processing opportunities."
    Medium-term alliance actions include dramatically increasing maize production, encouraging diversification and processing of cash crops, and strengthening entrepreneurship. "The enthusiasm and commitment of global and Kenyan business leaders in launching these actions to reduce hunger is impressive," said Richard Samans, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum.
    "When combined with essential public investments in food production, health and education, this project has the potential to transform Siaya District into a dynamic, sustainable economy," said Glenn Denning, Director of the MDG Centre in Nairobi.
    The government of Kenya expressed strong support for the initiative. David Nalo, Permanent Secretary of Trade and Industry, observed that the alliance had engaged a wide range of high level business leaders. "I hope you will be the drivers of building a sustainable solution to hunger and poverty in this country and throughout Africa," he said.
    Background Information:
    Further information on the Business Alliance Against Chronic Hunger may be viewed at:
    The Forum?s report outlining priorities for business action to reduce hunger may be downloaded at:
    __________________________________________________ ___________________________________
    The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Incorporated as a foundation in 1971, and based in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum is impartial and not-for-profit; it is tied to no political, partisan or national interests.
    The MDG Centre was established in Nairobi in July 2004 by the UN Millennium Project and the Earth
    Institute at Columbia University, USA. Its purpose is to assist countries in developing and implementing MDG-based poverty reduction strategies, and to support the implementation of Millennium Villages in Africa. (

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