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Plant Based meat Industry Set to Improve Individual Nutritional Needs and Livelihoods in East Pokot.

A meatless future achieved through a paradigm shift to consumption of plant based proteins that target individual nutrition needs.

Photo of Dorah Momanyi
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Lead Applicant Organization Name

The Ministry of Agriculture Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives (MOALFC)

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Government (City, State, National, etc.)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Centre of Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI)

Website of Legally Registered Entity

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • Under 1 year

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?


Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?


Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

East Pokot an Arid and Semi-arid Land (ASAL) lowland region in Baringo County, covers an area of 4524km^2.

What country is your selected Place located in?


Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

East Pokot sub county is in Baring County which of the 47 Counties which is facilitated by the National Government. It's thus the mandate of the government to develop East Pokot. We selected the place because of its vulnerability yet still its rich resources that have great potential and have remained untouched and unexploited. Being a team leader for small ongoing projects in the region has exposed me to the culture and way of life of people in this locality. I have, in the process been able to identify the challenges through observations and dialogues within the community. Underprivileged children particularly girls who have the ability to change the world but whose dreams go down the drain due to lack of opportunity and finance creates the need to change the outlook of this place. Constant conflicts in the community and untimely deaths of breadwinners, mothers, children and friends are saddening. The face of the community could change if the community finally open up to new opportunities.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

East Pokot is one of the Sub-counties in Baringo County in Rift Valley Province of Kenya. It borders Turkana East to the North, Market County and Baringo North sub-county to the West. The area receives about 600mm of rainfall per annum. The area has a high humidity with temperatures ranging between 10- 35 Degrees Celsius. East Pokot has a low vegetation cover Index values of about 34% with water levels below 10%-30%. The area is occupied by Lake Baringo (a hot water lake) and Bogoria, which occupy 164km^2 and lake Kamnarok, which covers 1km^2.

Being a semi-arid area,  the main economic activity is pastoralism (60%) with some agriculture (40%) in the higher elevation areas. Both the pure pastoralists (the cow people) and the few cultivators (the corn people) value cows as the key measure of wealth. Cows are used for barter trade, a source of food (mainly milk and blood) and dowry.

The agriculturalists have infused crop-based cultivation with livestock husbandry. They are considered very inferior to the pastoralists in physique since their diet consists almost entirely of sorghum (and now maize). Crop cultivation under rain-fed conditions is a recent innovation. The generally deep, dark brown clay soils in the highlands appear better suited for crop production. The socio-ecological dynamics of land-use have changed from an interdisciplinary perspective with newcomer farmers in the lowland and mid-hill zones making field crop production an opportunistic and erratic land-use strategy. The accelerated transition to crop cultivation embraced mostly by women is a strategy to ward off food insecurity and reduce inter-community conflicts.

East Pokot is largely inaccessible. There are hardly motorable tracks yet the landscape is dissected by numerous seasonal rivers. East Pokot has the potential of Geothermal energy production around Lake Bogoria and Silale.

East Pokot is occupied by the Pokot people, who speak Nandi with an illiteracy level of 76%. Most land in East Pokot sub-county is still communally owned. The people in East Pokot are in constant conflicts which have been associated with two believes; misbehavior and carelessness by the middle age group and the revival of the sharpening stone. The people celebrate various ceremonies including initiation of boys, wedding, foreteller and Sapana; a passage where a man graduates to maturity just to mention a few.

The area is characterised by high rates of malnutrition which could be linked to high food prices, heightened movements and emergency of IDS zones, diminishing pastures and tribal conflicts within the sub-county.

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)


What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?


Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Environmental degradation; Currently parts of East Pokot are covered with deep gullies. The area is largely affected by water pollution, solid and hazardous waste, soil degradation and deforestation.
East Pokot Sub-county has the highest population in Baringo County. This leads to settlements in protected areas and those with a fragile ecosystem. This has adverse effects on the environment, agriculture and livestock production.
Climate change; This results in higher intensity and frequency of weather extremes, floods, landslides and droughts. The greatest impact is borne by the most vulnerable households who lack resilience and capacity to prepare, adapt and rebuild.
Water scarcity; The Subcounty being in an ASAL region, water shortages are prevalent in the entire East Pokot. This is caused by low rainfall received and recurrent droughts
Unexploited resources; Water from Lake Baringo has remained unexploited for both domestic use and irrigation. The agricultural potential in the area has also remained unexploited. The mineral deposits in the area have also remained unexploited.
The high prevalence of acute malnutrition of children aged 6-59 months based on weight for height Z scores (WHZ) is 12.2%. Child morbidity as a result of diarrhea disease is 20.6%, 33.3% of deaths are as a result of fever while 65.9% are as a result of air respiratory tract infections.
Poor Infrastructure; There are very few classified roads. This results in limited exploitation of industrial raw materials and also the inequitable distribution of resources. Poor technology transfer e.g. production, communication, market access, etc.
Over reliance on livestock as a main source of livelihoods increases the production of greenhouse gases.
There are constant human conflicts over natural resources such as water, grazing grounds, and lack of adequate nutritious foods. Poverty levels are generally high with high levels of illiteracy amongst the population.
Over the years, the effect of climate change has led to scarcity/uneven rainfall/unpredictable weather patterns/unreliable rainfall patterns-resulting in long periods of drought.
In East pocket, we do not have a clear vision of what we want the agricultural industry to look like much less what sustainability could mean in our own setup. In addition, the county tends to pursue neoliberal policies in the agricultural sector hence its underdevelopment.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

Women and youth will be encouraged to participate in production of pasture, its processing and storage for future use and in growing of high protein food crops. It is expected that such ventures will contribute to poverty reduction, increased agricultural productivity, improved nutrition and environmental sustainability.

The use of technology and innovation in crop production, processing and distribution will enhance increase production yields, make agriculture less tedious and improve communication and infrastructure that will open East Pokot to the rest of the world.

A personalized nutrition approach based on characteristics of the recipient such as biological evidence and/or personal behaviours, preferences, or objectives may increase motivation toward effective dietary changes.

The global warming emissions associated with use of renewable energy are minimal. This can mitigate the effects of climate change within this community and globally.

 Plant-based protein plays a significant role by providing vital nutritional benefits. Soy protein for instance helps to reduce the cholesterol level, improve metabolism, bone mineral density, and also reduce the risk of cancer.

The global plant-based protein market is estimated to be valued at USD 18.5 billion in 2019 and is likely to reach USD 40.6 billion by 2025, and a further increase by 2050. This will increase household income and country's GDP.

There will be a reduction in green house gases emission as a result of reduced over-reliance on livestock and use of geothermal renewable energy. This will also improve policy adoption of coming up with practices that reduce gross green house gas emissions whose adoption rates have been low.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

Plant based proteins will increase fiber intake as well as lower intake of processed meats and saturated fat. This will, in turn, reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, colon cancer and diabetes.

Environmental sustainability;  Use of renewable sources of energy (geothermal), recycling of wastewater from the factory, reduced livestock keeping and use of sustainable agricultural practices will ensure the use and replication of these resources for future generations beyond 2050.

The place that has remained unentered and rural for a long time will open up to new opportunities, investments and development. An unreached place with little mobile coverage will open up to new technologies that make there work at the household level and production scale easier.

The livelihoods of people will improve. The community that currently does not have the resilience to bounce back after an emergency will now have resilience due to increased income and improved food and nutrition security status at the household level.

Movement of people from one place to another will greatly reduce since pasture will be available right at there homestead and most of them will probably have shifted to agriculture. This will also reduce conflicts.

Creation of employment for youth and women. Women who are the main contributors to household food and nutrition security will have more money to spend on purchasing nutritious foods that meet individual needs at the household level. This will translate to individuals and well nourished communities.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

Our vision aims to establish a long term, high impact resilient food systems that meet the social responsibility of the agricultural sector of providing safe, healthy and nutritious food to all. The vision aims at shifting the agriculture and pastoralism patterns within this community. 

Creating a new food system will require a major shift of our diets to become more flexitarian that is, reducing our dependence on animal meat as a primary source of protein (while ensuring that vulnerable populations have access to eggs and dairy) and increasing the consumption of plant based protein food products from drought resistant legumes and cereals. Also, the food system will incorporate a personalised nutrition approach that will offer healthy eating guidance tailored to an individual's needs since our DNA, food preferences, personal food choices and individual nutritional needs vary among individuals. Individual health guidelines will then be picked up by food processing industries that will produce plant based protein foods as per individual needs. Food industries play a crucial role in public health, food safety, food security, social development and nutrition. Health, sanitation and products quality are other major issues the food industry focuses on.

To make this major shift in our community of interest, our entry point will first ensure that the community is comfortable and receptive. Since livestock is the current main source of livelihood, we will need to secure this source of livelihood which has been challenged due to lack of pasture due to unpredictable rains. As a result, the community migrates in search of pasture a practice that is not suitable for a farmer who needs to tender for her/his crops. We will use conservation methods, especially during the short rains to grow and conserve pasture/fodder. In addition, a new pasture breed tolerant to drought will be distributed and grown in the area. We will work with the youths to establish fodder preservation areas. These areas will be availed for community use after the short rains at a fee again acting as a source of income for the youths. These initiatives will be conducted on government land. A revolving grant to grow, conserve and ensure the sustainability of pasture throughout all seasons will be given to the youth groups within the community. At this stage, the community will be able to permanently settle in one area to start farming. A plant based protein factory to be set up in the area will then contract farmers to grow protein based plant sources and in a future shift from livestock keeping or lower the number of livestock to the adoption of agricultural practices aimed at increasing production of protein plant based crops for our vision continuity and sustainability. This will also achieve community harmony and diversify sources of income.

Putting up a plant based protein industry will result in a shift from livestock keeping to growing plants drought resistant crops (mainly alternative of meat protein sources) such as soy, cowpeas, groundnut, pigeon peas and green grams using modern technologies such as vertical farming. This  technology will target small scale farmers with one-on-one technical assistance, education and resources. 

 Produce will be transported to the factory reducing food miles. Food innovators and scientists will innovative protein based food products ranging from protein beverages, dairy alternatives, meat alternatives, protein bars, nutrition protein supplements and protein concentrates. The nutrient profile will match a personalized nutrition approach where dietary interventions and food products are administered according to individual needs.

 Mobile food kitchens will demonstrate healthy recipes that should be adopted at the household level to meet personal nutrition needs. Online buying and selling nutrition platforms will be created and transportation media adopted.

Unused water in the 3 lakes in this region will be purified for household and industrial use. Wastewater will be recycled for use in the farms.

Food bloggers will be engaged to write about changing consumption patterns. The Ministry of Agriculture who are partners will facilitate the implementation of policies focused on a meatless future 2050 and personalized nutrition.

A government-owned geothermal plant that has recently started building in Silale area would be used as a source of renewable energy. 

Market oriented strategic planning will be used to identify local and international markets and keep track of the changing market opportunities to continually update the vision`s objectives, skills and resources.

This integrated actions by all stakeholders provide an opportunity to create impact at scale. The lessons learnt will be replicable to other similar ecological zones in the country and globally.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Website

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Dorah Momanyi Great to see you joining the Prize!

We noticed your submission is currently unpublished. Was this your intention? We'd love to have your submission included in the Prize given the deadline is less than two days away.

You can publish it by hitting the "Publish" button at the top of your post. You can also update your Vision at any time before 31 January 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Pacific time by clicking on the "Edit Contribution" on top. If you need inspiration or guidance, take a look at the Food Vision Prize Toolkit.
Here is the link to the Prize Toolkit: