The Department of Geography & Environmental Studies and the African Studies Centre in Leiden, Netherlands held a one-day project kick-off workshop on 3rd July 2013 at the University of Nairobi (UoN). The two institutions are involved in a collaborative project on “Food Planning and Innovation for Sustainable Metropolitan Regions (FOODMETRES): The Nairobi Case Study”.

FOODMETRES ( is a European Union funded project that aims to identify innovations for shortening food chains. The identified innovations should both increase urban food security and employment and reduce the ecological footprint of urban consumption. Other case studies are Ljubljana, Rotterdam, London, Berlin and Milan.

FOODMETRES studies the impact of food chains and chain innovation on the environment, society and the economy. The Nairobi Case Study is coordinated by Dr. Sam Owuor, Ms. Teresa Mbatia (DoGES), Dr. Dick Foeken and Dr. Sabastian Soeters (ASC). The Nairobi Case Study aims to:

  • Spatially analyse urban food consumption hotspots in Nairobi
  • Analyse food chains for selected crops in the region
  • Identify shortening food chain innovations
  • Analyse food planning and governance issues in the metropolitan region
  • Analyse the socio-economic and environmental value of selected food chains

The Nairobi kick-off workshop brought together relevant stakeholders and representatives from various institutions, including academics, farmers, Nairobi and Environs Food Security, Agriculture and Livestock Forum (NEFSALF), Mazingira Institute, Nairobi City County, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Limuru Diary, County Sustainable Development Initiatives, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Solidarites.

The workshop was officially opened by the Nairobi City County Executive Committee Member for Water, Energy, Forestry, Environment and Natural Resources, Hon. John Gakuo – on behalf of His Excellency the Governor of Nairobi City County, Hon. Evans Kidero. The Chairman, Department of Geography & Environmental Studies gave the initial and closing remarks

The following technical presentations were made:

  • An overview of urban agriculture and food security in Kenya (Dr. Paul Omanga, FAO Kenya)
  • Urban and peri-urban farming systems (Prof. Diana Lee-Smith, Mazingira Institute)
  • Agriculture as an urban form: prospects and concerns (Dr. Lawrence Esho, Technical University of Kenya)