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Millers for Nutrition Initiative Unveiled in Kenya, Increasing Access to High-quality, Nutritious Staple Foods

By Shadrack Nyakoe

Kenya is addressing the dual threats of malnutrition and food safety, particularly due to aflatoxin contamination, by launching the Millers for Nutrition initiative.

This initiative aims to ensure the supply of safe, high-quality nutritious foods through fortification, which is crucial for the nation’s health and economic development.

Speaking in Nairobi, Trade and Industry CS Rebecca Miano highlighted the global public health concern of inadequate micro-nutrient intake, which affects millions. She emphasized the importance of food fortification in improving the nutritional status of the population.

Miano urged food manufacturers to adhere to fortification regulations and invest in technologies to ensure accurate and uniform fortification of their products.

Miano explained that micronutrient fortification enhances the nutritional value of staple foods by adding essential nutrients such as iron, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin D, and iodine. She noted that in many parts of the world, staple foods like flour, rice, salt, and cooking oil are routinely fortified to ensure adequate nutrition for even the most marginalized populations.

Fortification programs have been shown to combat conditions like anemia and goiter, ultimately saving lives.

At the event, the winners of the Kenya Millers Fortification Index (KMFI) Awards were announced, recognizing local food brands that are leading in nutritional quality improvements.

Awardees included Unga Limited, United Millers Limited, and Mombasa Maize Millers.

Millers for Nutrition is collaborating with the Cereal Millers Association (CMA), which represents a significant portion of maize and wheat millers, to provide technical training and promote the KMFI awards.

The initiative also works with the United Grain Millers Association (UGMA) and the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) to bridge industry knowledge gaps in food fortification.

Miano encouraged Kenyans to embrace healthy diets, acknowledging that fortified foods are part of the solution but do not provide all necessary nutrients.

She called on all food manufacturers, particularly millers, to ensure every Kenyan has access to nutritious and fortified foods, regardless of their socioeconomic status or geographic location.

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