What is the Building Climate Change Resilience and Food Security Program?
The Building Climate Change Resilience and Food Security Program is improving the productivity of smallholder farmers by promoting good farming practices and adoption of new technologies. The program identifies keen, hard-working farmers at the village level and develops them into “Agro-Entrepreneurs” called Village-Based Advisors who provide inputs, services and advice on good farming practices to their community. These micro-businesses offer the double benefit of creating rural employment opportunities and building a sustainable system for delivering agricultural technologies. The program is part of the U.S. Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative, also known as “Feed the Future”, which seeks to create conditions where food assistance is no longer necessary.
Duration and Budget
March 2012 – March 2017
Who implements the Building Climate Change Resilience and Food Security Program?
Farm Input Promotions Africa (FIPS-Africa)
Where does Building Climate Change Resilience and Food Security Program work?
Siaya, Busia, Embu, Kitui, Machakos, and Makueni.
What does the Building Climate Change Resilience and Food Security Program do?
The goal of the program is to increase food security and resilience to environmental shocks among smallholder farmers. The program mitigates the negative effects of climate change by increasing the use of improved varieties of crops and inputs like fertilizer; building an understanding of and ability to implement good soil and water management techniques; and providing better access to poultry vaccination.
The model relies on the use of “Village-Based Advisors” who earn an income through the provision of improved inputs, advice and services to their fellow farmers. The Advisors have a target to work with every farmer in their community, meaning thousands of farmers can be reached quickly and cost-effectively. The program builds on the entrepreneurial and communal spirit common among smallholder farmers.
Through the ‘small pack’ approach inputs such as seeds are distributed to farmers in small quantities. This allows farmers to experiment on their own farm at a low cost and with minimal risk. Farmers are more likely to adopt if they have seen something work first.
How is the Building Climate Change Resilience and Food Security Program making a difference?
By June 2013, the Village-based Advisors had set up 3,000 demonstration plots for improved soil and water management and seed priming. They distributed 407,035 small seed packs of drought tolerant maize and other crops. A total of 11,570 households were reached with improved varieties of root tuber crops.
2,630 animals of improved breeds were disseminated to the Village-based Advisors to upgrade local livestock varieties. 40,000 chickens were vaccinated.
What key challenges does the Building Climate Change Resilience and Food Security Program?
Finding the right people to be Village-based Advisors can be challenging. Ideal candidates are farmers who are entrepreneurial, hard-working, and influential change agents who are keen to help their community. In some areas, the program works with the local administration to choose appropriate people who are respected by their communities.
Accessing sufficient quantities of seed of improved varieties and livestock is a problem, as demand often exceeds supply – particularly for crops with little or no private sector involvement.
For more information:
Dr. Paul Seward, Managing Director
Farm Input Promotions-Africa
Tel: +254 (0) 724 700 007
Samson Okumu, Activity Manager
Agriculture, Business and Environment Office
Tel: +254 208 622 2245
Updated September 2013
Last updated: October 10, 2013