Joan Otipi, Fighting Micronutrient Deficiencies

Joan Otipi, Fighting Micronutrient Deficiencies Through Food Fortification in Kenya

Joan Otipi is a third year student studying food and nutrition at Masinde Muliro University in Kenya, and the founder of an innovative project addressing malnutrition.

Recent reports show that micronutrient deficiency is one of the most common public health problems in developing countries. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies currently account for about 10% of the global health burden with the most prominent deficiencies in iron, vitamin A, iodine, zinc and folic acid uptake.

Through her project, Joan and her team are training farmers in food fortification, whereby essential minerals and vitamins are added to highly consumed foods like grains, oils, and salt.

Throughout 2015, Joan will train 100 local farmers in community centers, churches, and schools throughout Kenya on the production of amaranth grains, cassava, soy beans and moringa for use in flour fortification. Training will take place in 5 different groups and will include the creation of a farmer’s cooperative society.

In addition, Joan plans to provide farming families with comprehensive education on best gardening practices, food fortification processes, and traditional recipes, cuisines, and indigenous crops that can aid in the fight against malnutrition.

GRANT AWARD DATE: July 11, 2015