2nd December, 2019
IREN LAUNCHES A RECIPE BOOK FOR INDIGENOUS WESTERN KENYA CUISINES
The Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) has unveiled a cookbook for traditional cuisines from Western Kenya. Titled ‘Chakula Chetu,’ the book was launched at the just concluded 15th Bukura Trade and Culture Exhibition that took place at the Golf Hotel in Kakamega town on 28th and 29th November 2019 and was unveiled in partnership with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.
‘Chakula Chetu’ features a total of 16 food recipes as popularly prepared by the natives of Western Kenya including: Mushroom stew (Obwoba), Green Grams & Sweet Potatoes (Omushenye), Dried Termites (Tsiswa), Boiled Black Nightshade (Esufuwa), Beans and Sweet Potatoes Composite (Omushenye), Smoked beef (Shihango), Jute & Cowpeas leaves mix (Omurere and Likhubi), Free-range Chicken (Ingokho), Sorghum Porridge (Obusera),Spider Plant (Chisaka), Boiled Narrow Leaf (Emiroo), Pumpkin Leaf Vegetables (Lisebebe), Dried fish (Eshibambala), Bamboo Shoots (Kamalea), Millet Ugali (Obusuma) and Smoked Fish (Eshibambala). The book also outlines the nutritional benefits of each of these meals with an aim of unlocking the potential of the region’s food culture by encouraging people to embrace the growing and eating of indigenous foods as a way of promoting food security.
“Rural economies have a lot to offer their constituents and urbanized counterparts. The situation of rural economies in rich agricultural zones does not necessarily translate to access to cash. Individuals with cash in urban areas may not necessarily have the knowledge on how to prepare indigenous dishes. This book is meant to activate a conversation between rural producers, experts and the urbanite on how to prepare best cuisines from their produce and eat healthily. The production of ‘Chakula Chetu’ is part of the Inter Region Economic Network’s (IREN) wider strategy to narrow the gap between smallholder farmer producers and markets,” said Mr. James Shikwati, Director and Founder of Inter Region Economic Network(IREN).
The Nabongo of Wanga, His Royal Highness, Maurice Rapando Wambani, was also part of the journey that led to the creation of ‘Chakula Chetu.’ He says that the content of the is vital to the preservation of Western Kenya’s food culture which will be passed on from generation to generation. “Today people who visit hospitals with lifestyle diseases get a prescription to revisit and consume indigenous or traditional foodstuffs ideal for a healthy body. The contents of this vital cookbook should not be treated as a primitive undertaking. The book constitutes a wide range of foods consumed by people of Western and Lake Region of Kenya,’’ he said.
The book was launched during the closing ceremony of the annual Bukura Trade and Culture Fair that was themed “Show, Connect, Trade and Grow,”. The Event featured: trade and exhibition of products by corporates and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), a showcase of indigenous foods from Western Kenya, a showcase of smart innovations in agribusiness dubbed the ‘IREN Technologies and Innovations Platform Expo 2019’ as well as thematic discussions around the topics of innovation by SMEs and the gig economy as the future of work.
IREN has hosted 15 Trade and Cultural Fairs that have involved farmers and traders with enterprises along different agricultural value chains, corporate companies and individuals. The culture and trade fete has featured Agribusiness Enterprise Exhibition, Culinary Arts Competition, Cultural Show, Music and Dances Competition and Sports.
About the partners
The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom is the foundation for liberal politics in the Federal Republic of Germany. It aims to promote the goal of making the principle of freedom valid for the dignity of all people and in all areas of society. The support of human rights, rule of law and democracy in more than 60 countries form the core of the work of the regional offices in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Central America. International and transatlantic dialogue programs are used to promote these three values.
In East Africa, the foundation supports development of think tanks that network liberal thinkers, come up with shared concepts for development and progress by working with liberal partner organizations in the political realm as well as civil society. The Foundation is also working on a project to promote secure property rights with the aim of improving food security in the country.
Inter Region Economic Network, Ltd. (IREN) has managed over 18 business competitions for the last 15 years. IREN has for the last three years created screening and training platforms for Start-ups and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises across the East African region. IREN ‘s three focus areas include Think Tank for public policy analysis targeting wealth creation in Africa; Enterprise Development to promote investor ready enterprises and consultancy. www.irenkenya.com