About us

What will we eat tomorrow?

The food on our plates is not to be taken for granted. In East Africa, 35% of young children is stunted due to malnutrition. To address these challenges and keep up with the ever-growing population in a changing climate, the food sector needs more stable supply chains to provide affordable food for all, today and tomorrow.

This challenge is critical:

  • By 2050, the global population is projected to exceed 9.6 billion. Global food production will need to increase by 50% to meet this challenge, which will be particularly acute in rapidly expanding urban areas.

  • Soil quality and water resources are already depleting and the impact of climate change is further aggravating this development.

  • Low prices and poverty are forcing farmers from the land and young people are turning their backs on a future in agriculture.

"Rikolto’s interventions in East-Africa have the ambition to contribute to systemic change in food systems."
David Leyssens Regional Director Rikolto in East Africa

In East Africa more specifically, the population will double and almost half of the population will become urban residents by 2050. As a result, farmers will face rapidly growing local and regional markets. Rikolto believes family farms are a big part of the solution. Smallholder farmers produce 70% of our food worldwide, but individually they're often cut out of the trade, ignored or even sanctioned by governments. They often end up in poverty and their huge potential is left untapped. Change on a global scale demands that food markets become more inclusive and offer value to all actors in the food chain. Smallholder farmers must be offered a fair deal.

Rikolto is ready to meet this challenge…

We empower farmer groups to become solid business partners and implement future-proof, sustainable practices. We support them so that their products meet quality standards. We connect them with innovators in the food industry to explore new ways of doing business.

... to change the recipe of our food system forever

Rikolto builds bridges of trust and trade, between the food industry, governments, research institutions, banks and farmer organisations around this one central question: ‘What will we eat tomorrow?’. We plant and harvest new solutions, making the food system more transparent, so consumers are able to make a sustainable choice.

“Challenges in food sector are complex as they link with many different sustainability challenges. New and innovative partnerships between 'unusual suspects' are therefore needed to tackle them. Rikolto in East Africa wants to be a matchmaker of partnerships and market facilitator for change.”

David Leyssens Regional Director of Rikolto in East Africa

Rikolto in East Africa: part of a nimble network organisation

For more than 30 years, Rikolto in East Africa (formerly known as VECO East Africa) has worked continuously to achieve one goal: a better deal for farmers. Rikolto is an international NGO with more than 40 years’ experience in partnering farmer organisations and food chain stakeholders across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Rikolto runs programmes in 14 countries worldwide through seven regional offices. We’re a close-knit network of accessible and knowledgeable colleagues, willing to share experience and eager to inspire others.