Resilience and Economic Growth in Arid Lands – Accelerated Growth


Presidential Initiative:
Feed the Future

Funding Level:
$20 million

August 2013 – August 2017

Activity Goals:

  • Improve the enabling environment
  • Expand end market opportunities and catalyzing commercial investments
  • Improve livestock productivity
  • Promote the inclusiveness of women, youth and local groups

Activity Accomplishments:

  • Identified community-based groups and institutions to be involved in policy, advocacy and training initiatives
  • Identified key market opportunities for women and youth in upgrading and establishing model markets

Key Partners:
Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, National Drought Management Authority, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Kimetrica, Pastoralist Community Initiative and Development Assistance

Activity Locations:
Isiolo and Marsabit Counties


Resilience and Economic Growth in Arid Lands – Accelerated Growth encourages growth by improving market access and increasing the availability and affordability of inputs and services. It strengthens the links between pastoralists and the buyers of livestock and livestock products. It helps herders increase livestock productivity through improved breeds and expands the adoption of existing and new livestock services.

The activity supports both men and women in the pursuit of livestock-related economic opportunities by encouraging investments in targeted community-managed infrastructure and by helping to eliminate market constraints.  The introduction of private-sector driven innovations reduces risk, and encourages pastoralist communities to adopt new behaviors and new ways of doing business, which will increase their resiliency and ability to absorb the impact of future shocks and stresses.


Resilience and Economic Growth in Arid Lands – Accelerated Growth improves the enabling environment by working with pastoral communities to advocate for improved national policies and additional changes in legislation that will expand their access to critical services and markets. The activity identifies and engages with change agents to create or expand end-market opportunities and catalyze commercial investments in the meat, dairy, and hides and skins value chains. The activity increases livestock productivity by identifying and supporting the development of market-driven solutions that enable pastoralists to access new or improved inputs and services. It increases resilience by ensuring value chain growth is inclusive of women, men, youth and community groups that have the capacity to reach higher value markets, through the use of key partnerships and small-scale, demand-driven investments.


In July 2013, Pastor Charles Muthaura, a resident of Marsabit, was part of a team that participated in a training of trainers program and learning tour focused on pasture rehabilitation, organized by USAID’s Resilience and Economic Growth in the Arid Lands–Accelerated Growth program. Marsabit, which is situated in Kenya’s arid regions, is characterized by frequent and long periods of drought when many livestock die due to the lack of pasture and water. Pastoral communities in Marsabit are thus often exposed to economic hardship.

The objective of the training and learning tour was to equip the participants with information on how to increase the availability of pasture and fodder so that pastoral communities can maintain healthy livestock during times of drought. This included demonstrating techniques for minimizing environmental degradation and methods of growing fodder for commercial sales. After participating in the Accelerated Growth program’s training in pasture rehabilitation, Pastor Muthaura returned to his community and transferred the knowledge he had acquired.    

As a champion of change, Pastor Muthaura now teaches the 26 female members of Tumeamua Self Help Development Group (Tumeamua is the Swahili word for ‘we have decided’) how to grow Cenchrus Ciliaris, a special type of fodder that is indigenous, drought-resistant, and nutritious for the livestock. He also teaches them ways of managing fodder production for sustainability, such as through buying good seeds, observing the right season for planting and harvesting, as well as fencing the area under cultivation in order to protect the fodder from destructive, wandering herds.

USAID Contact:
Isaac Thendiu, Activity Manager
Livestock Development Program Specialist
Tel: +254 (0)20 862 2255/ +254 (0) 721 456 221

Resilience and Economic Growth in Arid Lands – Accelerated Growth Contact:
Dr. Cary Farley, Chief of Party
Tel:   020 522 3361/ 0722 756260


Updated January 2014

Last updated: May 21, 2014

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