TV Re­al­ity Show Pro­mot­ing healthy and drought tol­er­ant Smart Food

In the wake of a se­vere drought in Kenya, ICRISAT as a lead­ing part­ner has launched Smart Food Re­al­ity TV Show to pop­u­larise healthy and drought tol­er­ant foods in the coun­try.

Rural & Marketing - - CONTENT - Mohd Mus­taquim re­ports

In the wake of a se­vere drought in Kenya which has af­fected 2.7 mil­lion peo­ple very badly, In­ter­na­tional Crops Re­search In­sti­tute for Semi-Arid Trop­ics (ICRISAT) as a lead­ing part­ner has launched a 13-episode Smart Food Re­al­ity TV Show to pop­u­larise healthy and drought tol­er­ant foods in the African coun­try. This is a re­sult of a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween sci­en­tists and me­dia.

Pro­mot­ing the health ben­e­fits of drought re­silient crops could be one an­swer to the Kenya’s dev­as­tat­ing drought sit­u­a­tion. This year 2.7 mil­lion peo­ple are af­fected ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tional Red Cross which the Kenyan gov­ern­ment has de­clared a na­tional dis­as­ter. Droughts have be­come an an­nual prob­lem in Kenya and a more sus­tain­able way of liv­ing will ben­e­fit both farm­ers and the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion. Crops such as mil­lets, sorghum and legumes are highly drought re­silient while also be­ing highly nu­tri­tious, which will help com­bat mal­nu­tri­tion among chil­dren and the most vul­ner­a­ble in so­ci­ety.

The Smart Food is an ini­tia­tive of the In­ter­na­tional Crops Re­search In­sti­tute for Semi-Arid Trop­ics (ICRISAT), an im­ple­ment­ing

part­ner of the 'Feed the Fu­ture Kenya Ac­cel­er­ated Value Chain De­vel­op­ment' Pro­gram funded by US Gov­ern­ment’s global hunger and food se­cu­rity ini­tia­tive, 'Feed the Fu­ture' through the sup­port of United States Agency for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment (USAID).

“Smart Food is the smart way for the fu­ture and our aim is to take this aware­ness cam­paign to a global au­di­ence. Crops such as mil­lets and sorghum can tol­er­ate higher tem­per­a­tures and use a lot less wa­ter. So these crops are usu­ally the last ones stand­ing dur­ing times of drought. We need con­sumers to re­alise their ben­e­fit, go out and buy more of them, so farm­ers can con­fi­dently grow more and earn sus­tain­ably. It’s a win-win sit­u­a­tion,” said, David Bergvin­son, Direc­tor Gen­eral of ICRISAT.

“The Feed the Fu­ture Kenya Ac­cel­er­ated Value Chain De­vel­op­ment Pro­gram is sup­port­ing the ICRISAT’s Smart Food ini­tia­tive be­cause it is part and par­cel of the tech­nolo­gies to in­crease the pro­duc­tiv­ity of drought tol­er­ant crops in value chain. We aims to pro­mote farm­ing as a busi­ness, im­prove food se­cu­rity, in­comes and in­crease ac­cess to more nu­tri­tious foods to Kenyan com­mu­ni­ties,” high­lighted Dr. Ro­mano Kiome, Chief of Party of the Feed the Fu­ture Kenya Ac­cel­er­ated Value Chain De­vel­op­ment Pro­gram.

The show is a re­al­ity and drama se­ries that high­lights the use and im­por­tance of smart food, through a cook­ing com­pe­ti­tion. The show takes a com­pet­i­tive for­mat as 9 cook­ing en­thu­si­asts bat­tle it out for the big prize in a dra­matic cook­ing chal­lenge.

The winner walks away with a full schol­ar­ship to the pres­ti­gious Strath­more Pro­fes­sional Culi­nary Pro­gram 2017. Each group takes a

Smart Food is the smart way for the fu­ture and our aim is to take this aware­ness cam­paign to a global au­di­ence. Crops such as mil­lets and sorghum can tol­er­ate higher tem­per­a­tures and use a lot less wa­ter. We need con­sumers to re­alise their ben­e­fit, go out and buy more of them, so farm­ers can con­fi­dently grow more and earn sus­tain­ably. It’s a win-win sit­u­a­tion

David Bergvin­son Direc­tor Gen­eral of ICRISAT

cook­ing chal­lenge ev­ery week and elim­i­nates the low­est per­form­ing mem­bers as the rest pro­ceed to the next level. The show does not only sup­ply nu­tri­tional and culi­nary ed­u­ca­tion on smart food but is also laced with emo­tional scenes.

Smart Food in­cludes grains like sorghum, mil­lets, pi­geon­pea, chick­pea, cow­pea, green­gram and ground­nut. ICRISAT has branded them as Smart Food be­cause they fit three cri­te­ria such as good for the con­sumer, good for the planet and good for the farm­ers.

Good for the con­sumer: They are highly nu­tri­tious and healthy. High in protein, vi­ta­mins and mi­cronu­tri­ents. For ex­am­ple mil­lets are highly di­gestible and are gluten free. Legumes on the other hand are an af­ford­able protein. Es­ca­lat­ing lev­els of di­a­betes can be avoided or man­aged by sorghum and mil­lets as they have a low glycemic in­dex. They are high in an­tiox­i­dants – fight­ing against heart

dis­eases, life style dis­or­ders and can­cer.

Good for the planet:

These crops are crit­i­cal in the dry­lands as they sur­vive the harsh­est of en­vi­ron­ments and are most re­silient hence cli­mate smart crops. Mil­lets, for ex­am­ple, are the last crop stand­ing in times of drought. Smart Food crops have close to the low­est wa­ter and car­bon foot­prints of all the crops.

Good for the farmer:

The cli­mate re­silience of these crops means they are a good risk man­age­ment strat­egy for farm­ers. Legumes have an im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion to soil nu­tri­tion and when ro­tated with other crops, even in­crease the wa­ter use ef­fi­ciency of the en­tire crop ro­ta­tion. Their mul­ti­ple uses and un­tapped de­mand means they have a lot more po­ten­tial. Un­like the other crops they have not yet reached a yield plateau and have great po­ten­tial for pro­duc­tiv­ity in­creases.

The Smart Food ini­tia­tive takes on two dif­fer­ent ap­proaches tar­get­ing two key au­di­ences.

• Pro­mot­ing di­etary di­ver­sity and util­i­sa­tion of smart food in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties in 6 coun­ties in Kenya – Bu­sia, Si­aya, El­geyo Marak­wet, Ki­tui, Makueni and Tharaka Nithi.

• Pro­mot­ing util­i­sa­tion of S Smart Food tar­get­ing con­sumers n na­tion­wide through a so­cial me­dia c cam­paign and the TV re­al­ity show.

The over­all goal of the c cam­paign tar­get­ing ur­ban con­sumers, is to pro­mote util­i­sa­tion o of Smart Food for bet­ter nu­tri­tion o of con­sumers as well as to cre­ate a de­mand pull for smart food thereby ben­e­fit­ing the small­holder farm­ers.

Smart Food, an ini­tia­tive of ICRISAT fo­cuses on pop­u­lar­is­ing mil­lets and sorghum, has been se­lected by LAUNCH Food as one of the win­ning in­no­va­tions for 2017. “Mil­lets, in­clud­ing sorghum, are the first Smart Food we are fo­cus­ing on. They are highly nu­tri­tious, have a low wa­ter and car­bon foot­print, and have so many mul­ti­ple uses that are yet un­tapped,” said Smart Food ini­tia­tor and leader, Joanna Kane-Po­taka, Direc­tor Strate­gic Mar­ket­ing, ICRISAT.

“They have been tra­di­tional foods across India and many coun­tries in Africa but with low in­vest­ments, their value chains are sig­nif­i­cantly un­der­de­vel­oped which makes it more dif­fi­cult for the farm­ers to in­vest. Over a pe­riod of time they have be­come la­beled as an old fash­ioned food. We plan to take a dif­fer­ent ap­proach and drive de­mand by first cre­at­ing a new im­age and buzz around mil­lets,” she added.

Smart Food will be taken for­ward as a part­ner­ship and many or­gan­i­sa­tions have al­ready teamed up to pop­u­larise mil­lets. In India, this in­cludes the In­dian In­sti­tute of Mil­let Re­search (IIMR), the Na­tional In­sti­tute of Nu­tri­tion (NIN), MS Swami­nathan Re­search Foun­da­tion (MSSRF) and the Self Em­ployed Women’s As­so­ci­a­tion (SEWA). Ef­forts have been ini­ti­ated in ru­ral ar­eas to in­te­grate Smart Food into mes­sages by health work­ers and en­cour­age new creative ways to cook with these crops. Be­sides a Re­al­ity TV Show, pro­ces­sors are also be­ing en­gaged to de­velop healthy con­ve­nience Smart Food prod­ucts.

They have been tra­di­tional foods across India and many coun­tries in Africa but with low in­vest­ments, their value chains are sig­nif­i­cantly un­der­de­vel­oped which makes it more dif­fi­cult for the farm­ers to in­vest. Over a pe­riod of time they have be­come la­beled as an old fash­ioned food. We plan to take a dif­fer­ent ap­proach and drive de­mand by first cre­at­ing a new im­age and buzz around mil­lets

Joanna Kane-Po­taka Direc­tor Strate­gic Mar­ket­ing ICRISAT The over­all goal of the cam­paign tar­get­ing ur­ban con­sumers, is to pro­mote util­i­sa­tion of Smart Food for bet­ter nu­tri­tion of con­sumers as well as to cre­ate a de­mand pull for smart food thereby ben­e­fit­ing the small­holder farm­ers

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.