Kenya Feed the Future Innovation Engine

U.S. Presidential Initiative:
Feed the Future

Funding Level:
$22 million
$13.2 million through Land O’ Lakes Inc. – International Development

May 2012 – May 2017

Activity Goals:

  • Enhance adoption of innovative agricultural technologies and practices
  • Improve agricultural productivity and markets
  • Increase private sector investment in agriculture and nutrition-related activities

Activity Accomplishments:

  • Held innovation Pitch Event with 19 finalists selected from a total 188 applicants
  • Partnered with M-Farm Ltd. to exhibit at the inaugural Small and Medium Enterprises Conference organized by Strathmore Enterprise Development Centre to encourage networking among innovators in agriculture and nutrition
  • Facilitate introductions to potential strategic partners
  • Provide a platform for collaboration

Key Partners:
Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development, Agriculture Sector Coordination Unit, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS), Pest Control Products Board

Land O’Lakes, Inc. - International Development, in partnership with Dalberg Global Development Advisors and

Activity Locations:
Nationwide with a focus on supporting interventions that will have a significant impact on the 27 priority Feed the Future counties: Bomet, Bungoma, Busia, Elgeyo, Garissa, Homa Bay, Isiolo, Kakamega, Kericho, Kisii, Kisumu, Kitui, Machakos, Elgeyo Marakwet, Makueni, Marsabit, Meru, Migori, Nandi, Tharaka Nithi, Nyamira, Siaya, Taita Taveta, Trans Nzoia, Turkana, Uasin Gishu, Vihiga and Wajir.


The Kenya Feed the Future Innovation Engine identifies, fosters, and brings to scale innovative market-driven solutions to persistent food insecurity, under-nutrition and poverty. The Innovation Engine seeks to partner with entrepreneurs who design new concepts, products and services to maximize their commercial potential, as well as nutritional and livelihoods benefits to the targeted communities. The Innovation Engine supports experimentation and rewards proven successes that represent game-changing approaches for thousands of Kenyan families.


In a similar manner to a venture capital fund, the Innovation Engine uses competitive and open processes to identify agriculture and nutrition innovations with the greatest potential for large and sustainable impacts. Such impacts include generating significant measurable increases in productivity, household income and nutrition in selected value chains such as dairy and non-dairy ruminant livestock, horticulture, maize and staple food crops.

The Innovation Engine strives to enable innovations to become fully sustainable in the market. It provides targeted financial support and technical assistance at different stages of the entrepreneurial life cycle to enable the adoption of these innovative approaches by target populations throughout Kenya.

Examples of innovative interventions that the program supports include agricultural varieties that are disease, pest and drought resistant, especially for alternative staple crops; facilitating improved access to farm inputs; reducing transaction costs to allow smallholder farmers better access to markets; using information and communication technologies to disseminate agricultural information more efficiently; and facilitating public-private investments.


The Innovation Engine is building Kenya’s capacity for innovation to address persistent hunger and increase resiliency among the rural poor.

By design, women and youth are among the prime targets of the innovations, helping to ensure the benefits will reach all sectors of society.

"Wanda Organic is excited to be part of the Kenya Feed the Future Innovation Engine activity; our innovative organic fertilizers for smallholder farmers will positively impact food security and nutrition in Kenya while caring for the environment." Marion Moon, Founder and Managing Director of Wanda Organic.

USAID Contact:
Makeda Tsegaye,
Activity Manager, USAID/Kenya,
Agriculture, Business and Environment Office
Tel:  (+254) 20 862 2000

Kenya Feed the Future Innovation Engine Contacts:
Milton Lore
Chief of Party
Tel:  (+254) 0722 517 149



Updated February 2014

Last updated: April 14, 2014

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