What is the Kenya Agricultural Value Chains Enterprises Project?
The Kenya Agricultural Value Chains Enterprises Project is the flagship Feed the Future Initiative project in Kenya.
The project will promote value chain growth and diversification, increase 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 project will work with more than 30 Kenyan government and private sector organizations.
The project 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 will ensure the sustainability of the project’s work.
Project Duration and Budget
January 2013 – January 2018
$40 million USD
Who implements the Kenya Agricultural Value Chains Enterprises Project?
Where does the Kenya Agricultural Value Chains Enterprises Project work?
The project targets 500,000 smallholder farmers in 22 counties in high-rainfall and arid and semi-arid areas, however, all of the actors along the value chains across Kenya will benefit.
Target production counties include 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.
What does the Kenya Agricultural Value Chains Enterprises Project do?
The Kenya Agricultural Value Chain Enterprises Project 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 project 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 project 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 Project also builds the capacity of local organizations to undertake value chain work so that the project’s gains and achievements can be sustained.
What does the Kenya Agricultural Value Chains Enterprises Project hope to achieve?
Agriculture is the backbone of Kenya’s economy and central to the Government of Kenya’s development strategy. The agriculture sector employs more than 75 percent of the workforce and accounts both directly and indirectly for approximately 51 percent of Kenya’s gross domestic product.
The project will contribute to improved economic stability and food security for Kenya by improving nutritional outcomes, reducing chronic under-nutrition, building and diversifying sustainable value chains and increasing the productivity and incomes of 500,000 smallholders.
With the largest dairy herd in east and southern Africa, Kenya has the potential to meet local demand for dairy and be a leader in regional markets. As one of the largest African exporters of fresh produce to Europe, Kenya’s horticulture industry can expand local and regional markets. Markets, in turn, can significantly grow through reforms that address policy constraints, irrigation, roads, agricultural inputs, extension, and market access promotion. The project will contribute to market growth and expansion by encouraging reforms that address policy constraints, irrigation, roads, agricultural inputs and market access.
Increased resources such as credit from banks and investment by entrepreneurs will continue to strengthen value chains and increase their capacities.
What key challenges does the Kenya Agricultural Value Chains Enterprises Project face?
Kenya’s population is growing by approximately one million people per year. Combined with stagnant agricultural productivity and limited arable land, this rate of population increase poses critical challenges to food security; two to four million Kenyans already receive food aid annually. Persistent crises, such as drought in Kenya’s arid lands increase the vulnerability of basic livelihoods to a changing climate.
Most of the country’s 3.5 million smallholder farmers work without basic agricultural inputs or updated technology and lack adequate financial or extension services. The vast majority of smallholder farmers plant maize, however, due to low productivity, poor post-harvest handling, and household consumption requirements, only about 15-25% of the harvest reaches formal markets. In principle, smallholder farmers should be able to achieve high yields and margins if they adopt good agricultural practices and have access to inputs. Smallholder farmers are at a disadvantage in the market due to the high cost of product collection and marketing incurred by traders. Smallholder households also suffer economic losses caused directly by crop deterioration during storage.
For more information:
Harrigan Mukhongo, COR
Agriculture, Business and Environment Office
Tel: (+254) 20 862 2245
Fax: (+254) 20 862 2680
Dr. Steve New, Project Director
Agriculture Value Chain Enterprises Project
Tel: (+254) 715-818-988
Updated August 2013
Last updated: August 27, 2013