Kenya Agricultural Value Chains Enterprises Project


U.S. Presidential Initiative:
Feed the Future

Funding Level:
$40 million

January 2013 – January 2018

Activity Goals:

  • Improve economic stability and food security for Kenya
  • Improve nutritional outcomes, reducing chronic under-nutrition
  • Build and diversify sustainable value chains
  • Increase the productivity and incomes of 500,000 smallholders.

Activity Accomplishments:

  • Held field days and other participatory events with smallholders, traders, and local extension staff throughout the 22 target counties
  • Partnered with more than 31,000 smallholders to give technical assistance, training, or market development interventions (as of September 30 2013)
  • Conducted a review of milk cooling facilities and identified 115 milk coolers in the target counties with an installed capacity of 1.1 million liters of milk per day

Key Partners:
Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries; Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS),  Agriculture Sector Coordination Unit (ASCU), Pest Control Products Board (PCPB), Horticultural Crops Development Authority (HCDA), Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) and private sector actors in the dairy, maize and horticulture value chains

Activity Locations:
22 counties in high-rainfall and arid and semi-arid areas – including: Bomet, Trans Nzoia, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Kericho, Bungoma, Busia, Kakamega, Vihiga, Siaya, Homabay, Kisumu, Nyamira, Kisii and Migori in the western region, and Meru, Tharaka, Machakos, Makueni, Kitui and Taita-Taveta in eastern regions of Kenya.

The Kenya Agricultural Value Chains Enterprises promotes value chain growth and diversification, increases the productivity and incomes of smallholder farmers and other actors along the value chain working in the dairy, maize and other staples and horticulture sectors. The activity works with more than 30 Kenyan government and private sector organizations.

The activity develops smallholder enterprises that combine maize, high-value horticultural crops, and dairy farming to generate wealth, thereby enhancing food security, improving nutrition, and increasing economic opportunities for women, youth and other vulnerable populations. Engagement with the private sector in a meaningful, comprehensive way ensures the sustainability of the activity’s work.

The Kenya Agricultural Value Chain Enterprises activity works with smallholder farmers, businesses and government partners to address constraints up and down the value chain (such as agro-processors, input suppliers, transporters, exporters, retailers, financing) and develop fully-functioning, competitive value chains. The activity is expanding the number of micro and small and medium enterprises that can compete in selected markets, increasing the gross value of products and services overall, and expanding market share in local and export markets.

The activity fosters innovation and promotes technologies and techniques to increase consumption of more nutritious foods in rural households in order to sustainably reduce chronic under-nutrition.

Kenya Agricultural Value Chains Enterprises also builds the capacity of local organizations to undertake value chain work so that the project’s gains and achievements can be sustained.

Gilbert Henry Obonyo had always wanted to keep dairy cows on his three acre farm, but didn’t know how to do it. Similar to many farmers in the Kisumu region, Obonyo believed that dairy animals could not survive the hot weather and that they would succumb to diseases.

In June 2013, the Kenya Agricultural Value Chains Enterprises activity supported over 1,600 farmers from 22 counties to attend the Brookside Livestock Breeders Show and Sale in Nairobi. Obonyo was one of the farmers, and this was his turning point.

With his newly acquired knowledge on which breed of cow produces high milk yields, Obonyo sold one of his zebu bulls for Ksh 30,000 and took out part of his savings to buy a dairy cow at Ksh 50,000.

His cow currently gives him 5 liters of milk per day. He sells some of the milk to his neighbors at Ksh 50 per liter. The rest is consumed at home. He is confident that with high-quality feeds that are affordable but of good quality, milk production will increase significantly following the next calving. Obonyo has also planted Napier grass on half acre of his land, which will reduce the cost of feed and boost milk production. He provides his cow mineral supplements and makes sure it is regularly vaccinated.

An enthusiastic farmer, Obonyo has offered half an acre of his land to the KAVES project to use as a demonstration farm on fodder farming. He is also mobilizing his neighbors to adopt dairy farming and overcome the misconception that areas of Kisumu are not fit for dairy farming.

KAVES is working towards increasing productivity and developing an efficient dairy marketing system for smallholder farmers so that farmers like Obonyo can increase their household incomes.

Starting dairy farming for Obonyo was a great decision that will keep him happy and provide him with money in his retirement. ‘I plan to sell off my other five zebu cows and use the money to buy more dairy cows,’ he says.

USAID Contact:
Harrigan Mukhongo, Activity Manager
Agriculture, Business and Environment Office
Tel:  (+254) 20 862 2245

Kenya Agriculture Value Chain Enterprise Contact:
Dr. Steve New, Project Director
Agriculture Value Chain Enterprises Project
Fintrac, Inc.
Tel: (+254) 715-818-988


Updated February 2014

Last updated: May 14, 2014

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