What is the Asset-Based Financing for Smallholder Farmers Project?
The Asset-Based Financing for Smallholder Farmers Project will help 110,000 smallholder farmers in 13 counties (listed below) of Kenya double their farm income per planted acre. More than 70% of Kenyans depend on agriculture for their livelihood. The majority of these farmers are women smallholders, yet for a variety of reasons, they are not as productive as they could be. Kenya is one of twenty partners in the U.S. government’s support for Global Hunger and food security known as ‘Feed the Future’, which seeks to address the root causes of hunger, malnutrition and poverty and create conditions where food assistance is no longer necessary.
Project Duration and Budget
May 2012 – May 2015
Who implements the Asset-Based Financing for Smallholder Farmers project?
One Acre Fund
Where does the Asset-Based Financing for Smallholder Farmers project work?
The project is headquartered in Bungoma and works in 13 counties in the Western region: Bungoma, Kakamega, Busia, Vihiga, Nandi, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Homa Bay, Kisii, Migori, Kisumu, Nyamira, and Siaya.
What does the Asset-Based Financing for Smallholder Farmers project do?
The project takes a holistic view of the challenges faced by smallholder farmers in Kenya and offers practical, scalable and sustainable solutions to increase food security in the long term. The project is working to integrate smallholder farmers into the maize, sorghum, and millet value chains in the following four ways:
Farm inputs: Farmers receive quality seeds and fertilizer on loan. These locally-sourced seed and fertilizer are delivered within two kilometers of where the farmers live. The farmers grow primarily staple food crops, such as maize, millet, sorghum, and kale.
Finance: Farmers receive their inputs as an in-kind loan, with a flexible repayment structure tailored to their income levels.
Training: Local field officers provide extensive training to farmers in the fields where they live and work.
Market Facilitation: Field officers train farmers on household storage practices, to minimize post-harvest crop loss. This allows farmers to access the market several months after harvest, when prices are high.
Asset-Based Financing for Smallholder Farmers project builds on the progress that previous USAID investments have made in upgrading the maize value chain in Kenya, while expanding into the sorghum, millet, orange-flesh sweet potato, cassava, and kale value chains.
How is the Asset-Based Financing for Smallholder Farmers project making a difference?
The results after the first year of implementation are:
- 13,602 new and continuing hectares of maize under improved technology.
- 60,000 small holder farmers in the Western region receiving input loans in the form of improved seeds and fertilizers, along with crop insurance, and chlorine solution for treatment of drinking water.
- Ninety percent of farmers in the project applied new technology on their farm.
- A gross margin of $692 per hectare of maize was earned by participating smallholder farmers.
- Sixty-one percent of farmers in the project reported that they experienced a mild or no hunger season due to project intervention on improved storage practices.
What key challenges does the Asset-Based Financing for Smallholder Farmers project face?
Even in the high-rainfall areas of Western Kenya, smallholder farmers are under-producing. Farmers find it difficult and expensive to access improved seed and fertilizer, and when they do, they are not sure how to use these inputs most effectively. They lack ready access to markets, and don’t store their harvests correctly. Increasing yields among smallholder farmers in the high and reliable rainfall areas of Kenya presents a tremendous opportunity to increase household incomes, decrease rural poverty, and increase national food security.
For more information:
Ravi Nayak, Deputy Project Director/Grants Administrator
One Acre Fund
Harrigan Mukhongo, AOR
Agriculture, Business and Environment Office
Tel: +254 20 862 2245
Updated August 2013
Last updated: September 17, 2013