The African Women’s Studies Centre of the University of Nairobi exhibited the LISHAKENYA Application tool for enhancement of food security at Nairobi International Trade Fair from which was held from 3rd to 9th of October. The AWSC exhibited the innovation under the category of Use of Information Communication Technology to Enhance Food Security in the show whose theme was Enhancing Technology in Agriculture for Food Security and National Growth.
LISHA KENYA is a multi-platform system that harnesses the power of mobile and web technologies to efficiently collect, collate and analyze data on the food security indices across the country in all the 47 counties. It involves a mobile application developed in the android platform that will be installed on the mobile phones for the food security champions who will be based at the wards across the country who will collect the data and upload to the cloud server from which the data will be co-related to other existing data and analyzed using different analytics tools so as to make better sense of all the data elements. The system will then do reports on a web based system that will do dynamic reports. The proposed LISHAKENYA Application will be used in identifying and mapping the food poor households in each county so that resources, interventions and programmes at the county level can target the identified households.
The LISHAKENYA Application has been developed as a result of the study carried out on Food Security by the University of Nairobi’s AWSC and KNBS in the country in 2013/2014 and whose results were published in Status Report on Food Security by University of Nairobi press in 2014. Data from the research on food security indicates that18 percent Kenyans (7.1 million) translating to over 600,000 households are always and often hungry. This is so despite many food security programmes whose main challenge is lack of clear targeting of food poor households for enhancement of their food security. The expected outputs of the project are; food poor households/vulnerable population identified by name, source of livelihood, their exact location; food security interventions, resources and programmes targeted and channelled to food poor households; and food security for the food poor households in various livelihood categories increased. Below is the illustration of the application.
The University of Nairobi ICT Stand was declared the Overall Second Best in the Use of ICT for Food Security Category in the Nairobi International Trade Fair. Also exhibiting in the University ICT Stand for Food Security Category were: School of Computing with Shamba Plus Application, UON ICT Department, UON Library and Extra Mural Studies from College of Education and External Studies.
During the eight days of the exhibition, the LISHAKENYA Application attracted many visitors who included government officials, researchers, farmers, students, university of Nairobi Management Team, and the general public. Among those who visited the stand included the Chancellor of University of Nairobi, Dr. Vijoo Rattansi, The Vice Chancellor Prof. Peter Mbithi, The Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research Production and Extension, Prof. Lucy Irungu among others. The University Management Team congratulated the Centre and the ICT innovation for making the University of Nairobi proud. Many visitors to the stand congratulated the AWSC for coming with an ICT innovation to tackle food security.