Action - Strengthening Agricultural Technologies among People Living with HIV: Lessons Learned in the Border Towns of Busia, Kenya and Busia, Uganda - Promotion of food security and agriculture - Pregnant/lactating women with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA)

Programme: Strengthening Agricultural Technologies among People Living with HIV: Lessons Learned in the Border Towns of Busia, Kenya and Busia, Uganda

Programme description

The Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance Project (FANTA) of the Academy for Educational Development (AED) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) AIDS Control Programs (ACPs) in Kenya and Uganda worked together between 2007 and 2008 to integrate nutrition into the activities of HIV support groups in the border towns of Busia Uganda and Busia Kenya, funded by USAID/East Africa. The aim was to build skills in nutrition and disseminate national materials on nutrition and HIV developed by the national ACPs. However, PLHIV in the border towns increasingly reported lack of access to adequate food, in terms of quantity and variety, as the main reason they could not apply the dietary practices recommended during counseling sessions. In response, between September 2007 and September 2008 FANTA and the ROADS Project collaborated to facilitate the diffusion and use of appropriate technologies to improve the productivity of PLHIV agricultural activities developed under the ROADS Project in the two border towns.

Programme type




Start date:


End date:

Busia , Kenya and Busia Uganda
Target group: 
Pregnant/lactating women with HIV/AIDS
Implementation details : 

The process involved identifying simple technologies to increase farm and garden outputs and linking clusters of people living with HIV (PLHIV) with local agricultural institutions including the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), Department of Culture and Social Services, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), and Busia Agricultural Training Centre (BATC) in Kenya and the MOA, Ministry of Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), and National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) in Uganda, as well as community development officers, community-based organizations (CBOs), and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the districts. FANTA facilitated the development of a participatory learning process to motivate groups of PLHIV to learn the new technologies to increase farm and garden output.

In phase one of the participatory learning process, FANTA and ROADS helped members of the clusters and agricultural institutions understand the agricultural technologies used in Busia, Kenya and Busia, Uganda to improve productivity. Phase two facilitated a process of linking cluster with agricultural institutions to help cluster members implement existing technologies that they had not widely used and to assess the impact of the process on the adaptation of the technologies. Neither FANTA nor ROADS invested substantial funds in the process, but provide technical assistance and connected the clusters to locally available technical assistance and support.

Three sensitization meetings were held, one joint meeting between cluster representatives, the FHI Cluster Coordinators, and FANTA staff and two meetings with groups on either side of the border. The meetings laid the foundation for agreement on the purpose of the activity and sharing of expectations. Over a period of two weeks, the group representatives identified viable and interesting agricultural technologies used in their localities and discussed how easily they could be implemented by PLHIV living in the towns (urban setting) and how they could improve their food diversity. In meetings with the agricultural institutions (mainly from Kenya), examples of agricultural technologies and activities were identified and discussed. Ministry of Agriculture and BATC extension personnel were available in the meetings to explain the different technologies.

The cross-border learning process was initiated by 14 representatives of the Ugandan clusters, who visited their peers on the Kenyan side of the border in November 2007. For two days they visited homes and training centers to see different agricultural technologies and livelihood activities implemented in Kenya and discussed the
feasibility of their adoption in their own context. At BATC the Ugandan visitors toured all the Group identification of learning content and methodology Preliminary sensitization meetings with cluster groups Group consultative meetings Meetings of Cluster representatives with departments of agriculture, NGOs, research institutions, and farmer training Cross‐border learning and home visits Arrange meetings among ROADS representatives, cluster representatives from Kenya and Uganda, and FANTA. Explain the different technologies that could be used in the locale and by PLHIV. Agree on how groups would implement the technologies and priorities. Group consensus meetings See different technologies in the communities and discuss.

Visits were also made to school gardens, community land (e.g., belonging to clusters of orphans and vulnerable children [OVC] in Kenya), seed multiplication sites, and farmer training centers. The cluster members discussed opportunities for and challenges of implementing similar activities in the urban Uganda context. Group consensus meetings were held to prioritize what the clusters wanted to learn about and the optimal methods of learning.

Outcome indicator(s): 
  • Organization and implementation of livelihood activities among PLHIV
  • Food and income security
  • Successful communal gardens
  • Consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables from gardens operated by PLHIV
Outcome reported by social determinants: 
Socio-economic status


Revision log

Wed, 03/27/2013 - 16:15bloessnermEdited by william_nkoom.published
Thu, 01/31/2013 - 04:51william_nkoomEdited by william_nkoom.draft
Thu, 01/31/2013 - 04:50AnnaLarteyEdited by william_nkoom.published
Tue, 01/29/2013 - 02:28AnnaLarteyCreated by AnnaLartey.needs_review