WFE empowers a woman entrepreneur in Kisumu County

WFE empowers a woman entrepreneur in Kisumu County

Young woman entrepreneur tells of her experience during the Global Food Challenges Programme Second Mid-Term Review (MTR) meeting in Nairobi. (small subtitle)

This interview was conducted by Ms. Eunice Likoko, University of Amsterdam (UvA) Ph.D. Student.

Jennifer Atieno is a woman entrepreneur and a farmer in Kisumu. She came to know about the Women Food Entrepreneurs research project in the first field familiarization visits by the Ph.D. researchers with community-based women groups in Kisumu city slums.  In January 2018, she participated in the Food and Business Knowledge Platform Second Mid Term Review meeting in Nairobi and this was her comment: “I learned new ways on how as a farmer and entrepreneur I can improve food and nutrition plus generate income. The meeting also enlightened me on new food preservation methods.”

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Forum calls for acceleration of agricultural policy in Kenya

The first Agricultural Industry Forum (AIF) and exhibition was officially opened on March 3, 2020, at the Nairobi Hospital Convention Centre. The forum called on designing and incorporating more innovative technologies and increased investment by the private sector stakeholders in the agribusiness sector.

The conference main aim was to provide a national platform for discussions on how best to strengthen and sustain effective partnerships in the agricultural sector in the context of devolution.

Speaking at the opening of the Forum, Israel Ambassador to Kenya, H.E Oded Joseph stated that they will continue to partner with Kenya in undertaking agricultural activities. “Israel being a world leader in the field of agriculture, it will continue to be a significant partner in creating capacity-building opportunities between the two countries.”

He added that in order for an economy to be sustainable and economically viable, the business sector has to play a vital role, the youth have to be involved and basic infrastructures have to be set up to support the agriculture sector.

During the forum, the Chairman of Agricultural Industry Network, Mr. Edward Mudibo called on fast-tracking of the national agricultural policy, which revolves around the main objectives of increasing productivity and income growth, especially for smallholders; enhanced food security and equity, emphasis on irrigation to introduce stability in agricultural output, commercialization and intensification of production, especially among small scale farmers.

Mr. Mudibo noted that platforms, where the private sector, national and county government can activate new strategic partnerships, need to be created for transformational change within the Kenyan agribusiness sector. He also highlighted that governance and the role of cooperatives need to be rethought.

The other key message that came out of the forum was the need to make agriculture attractive to the youth so as to reduce the unemployment crisis. There was the need to develop guidelines for public-private partnerships(PPPs) between county government and the private sector, and actionable strategies to improve the agribusiness sector.

Moreover, the government will establish six agro-processing units within each economic bloc across the country. The units will be developed using a one-stop-shop rapid Public-Private Partnership(PPP) process for local and export markets.

Agricycle East Africa, CABE partners to empower women and youth in fruit agribusiness

On January 31, the Centre for African Bio-Entrepreneurship signed a partnership agreement with Agricycle East Africa Limited to empower smallholder farmers, women, and youth by creating market linkages for value-added fruits.

Agricycle East Africa Ltd is a social enterprise subsidiary of Agricycle Global specializing in fruit processing and marketing to create sustainable business relations for women empowerment.

The three-year agreement entails designing projects, resource mobilization, and creating collaborative platforms for learning and knowledge exchange on fruit agribusiness, women empowerment, deployment of technologies and equipment for fruit drying and capacity building.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Executive Director CABE, Dr. Hannigton Odame said “This MoU complements CABE’s activities in facilitating market linkages, capacity building and training, research, and policy processes. On the other hand, it allows Agricycle East Africa to partner with CABE-affiliated farmer groups to alleviate poverty through agri-preneurship and provide food safety and health standards in fruit processing and marketing activities.”

After signing the MoU, the two organizations will develop an implementation strategy alongside a resource mobilization strategy. In the first phase, the partners will engage farmer groups in Western Kenya and eventually scale-out in other counties, which produce plenty of fruits but have inadequate market linkages.

“We will now move to create an action plan for the first year of the MoU implementation and develop Standard Operating Procedures in efforts to mobilize resources and provide technical and social activities from each organization,” Agricycle East African Director, Mr. Patrick Nderitu stated.

Also, the two organizations will invest in women and youth empowerment to build their agribusiness skills, provide access to market linkages and access to agri-financing.

CABE successfully hosts APRA Annual workshop 2019

The Centre for African Bio-Entrepreneurship (CABE) successfully hosted the APRA Annual Review and Planning Workshop in Naivasha from 2-6 December 2019. Members of the three APRA workstreams and APRA Consortium, stationed at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), also participated.

The theme of this year’s workshop was Impact, Communications, and Engagement (ICE).  It aimed at reviewing tactics and strategies for communicating policy-relevant insights and evidence ‘nuggets’ emerging from the APRA studies to key stakeholders and clarifying pathways to impact.

During the workshop, the Accompanied Learning for Relevance and Effectiveness (ALRE) initiative was officially launched, which aims to improve engagement efforts, trace influence, and identify lessons for improving future programming within APRA.

Highlights from the workshop include: review of progress on APRA research activities during the year related to Work Stream 1 (panel studies), Work Stream 2 (longitudinal studies) and Work Stream 3 (policy studies). Presentation of policy-relevant insights evidence from the Work Stream studies related to the APRA Outcome Indicators and cross-cutting themes; clarification of engagement priorities and plans from the Participatory Impact Pathways Analysis (PIPA) and Theory of Change (ToC) workshops to bring about outcome-level change, and discussions on hosting APRA phase 2.

It was noted that there are high levels of commercialisation of oil palm in South-Western Ghana due to specialisation and highly stratified oil palm economy by gender, generation, and class.

Comparing food-based versus tobacco-led agricultural commercialisation in Zimbabwe, Vine Mutyasira observed that tobacco-led commercialisation resulted in higher returns leading to whole-farm productivity-enhancing investments in technologies, livestock, and assets.

In the case of long-term change in cocoa commercialisation in Ghana, Joseph Yaro mentioned that the private and state sector investment can boost access to technical innovation for intensification of production thus improved incomes for cocoa farmers.

From the longitudinal analysis of sunflower commercialisation in Singida, Tanzania, Christopher Magomba highlighted that the sustainability of sunflower commercialisation and productivity has led to low uptake of inputs such as fertiliser and seeds, low purchasing power; limited access to extension services leading to low yields and competition from alternative annual crops (maize, green gram).

Rice commercialisation has ensured household and the community food security and considerable change in the livelihood options for smallholder rice farmers in the Fogera plains of Ethiopia. This change contributed to rise in rice processors from 1 in 1997 to 123 in 2018, increased employment opportunities especially for casual labourers and interdependence of rice production and labour markets and 93% of the processors became rice sole proprietors recording average value of 360 thousand birr/processor. Whereas in Tanzania, intensification was mentioned as a solution to small and medium-scale farmers in rice commercialisation.

Speaking on the political economy of growth corridors and agricultural commercialisation, Ngala Chome, a PhD candidate, said, “There are diverse pathways to commercialisation along the growth corridors and they range from the establishment of estates/plantation to the creation of block farms and cooperative groups, to contract farming arrangements, which emerge through infrastructure development.” He added that ethnic politics play a critical role, as claims over resources are contested between indigenous groups and the state.

Presenting on behalf of Jodie and Seife, John Thompson mentioned that good incentives (e.g. financial guarantees) can increase the role of small to mid-sized enterprise (SME) agribusinesses in commercialisation pathways rather than policy uptake.

In order to empower the youth, the emphasis was placed on providing more programs or schooling to millions of young people in order to reduce rural-urban migration, the former highlighted in this Ghana-based youth engagement blog.

Looking ahead to Phase 2, DFID’s Howard Standen advised the team to be persistent and use personal relationships or existing champions, such as the African Union Commission, Advisory person, Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission. Ethiopia, Dr. Janet Edeme and the ‘to push for regional and national debates contribution in agricultural commercialisation.

Regarding agricultural transformation and wealth creation, APRA can explore strategies for incorporating the ALRE initiative in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

Click here for information on the 2018 APRA Annual Review Workshop, held in Accra, Ghana.

By Mercy Nduati, CABE Communications Officer

Busia County to host Rice Research Centre

Busia County to host Rice Research Centre

In efforts to boost production and marketing, the Venezuelan government has funded the construction of a rice research institute in Budalang’i, Busia county. The Kshs. 400 million institute aims to develop new breeds for lowland rice ecologies and their major market segments, including good grain quality and tolerance to major biotic and abiotic stresses.

Rice is fast becoming a regular food in most Kenyan households. It is a strategic commodity and the fastest-growing food source in Africa.

According to a published post in the local dailies, Busia County will maximize its production through value addition and boost uptake of rice in the market. Also, it will create employment opportunities for the locals and identify the best rice varieties for specific regions in the county.

Previously, Busia farmers were forced to sell their produce at low prices for fear of incurring losses from poor storage and lack of proper mechanized facilities.

Busia will be the only county in Kenya to benefit from the funding from Venezuela Government together with Madagascar Island. Madagascar has already completed its project, while Kenya is still at the design stage. The Ministry of Public Works is expected to hand over the designs to the contractor once complete.

Currently, the consumption of rice is at 440,000 metric tons per year but Kenya is only producing 140,000 metric tons per year, meaning that the rest of the rice is imported to other countries like Pakistan and Thailand.

High-level policy forum to explore youth employment opportunities in agribusiness

High-level policy forum to explore youth employment opportunities in agribusiness

The Centre for African Bio-entrepreneurship (CABE) on behalf of the Utafiti Sera Consortium convened a workshop to explore employment opportunities for youth in agribusiness along Kenya’s mango value chain.

The workshop which was held from 26th – 27th July 2021 brought together the projects’ funding organization Partnership for African Social & Governance Research (PASGR) and implementing partners CABE and Alternatives Africa, and representatives from National and County governments, the youth, and other stakeholders to further the use of evidence to inform youth employment policies.

Participants listen to Workshop proceedings

The workshop, held at Travellers Beach Hotel, Mombasa explored how the findings of a study conducted by the project can be domesticated to complement existing regulatory frameworks such as the Makueni County Development Action Plan and the Kenya youth agribusiness strategy.

This workshop will contribute to informed policymaking in agribusiness to increase youth employment in the agriculture sector.

Youth Employment Creation Through Sustainable Agribusiness – Lessons from evidence-informed policy convening

Youth Employment Creation Through Sustainable Agribusiness – Lessons from evidence-informed policy convening

Youth unemployment remains a major challenge in Kenya, perpetuating the country’s socioeconomic problems such as poverty and hunger. Unchecked, the International Labour Organization fears that youth unemployment, currently estimated at 35 per cent of the population, will double by 2045.

The problem of joblessness in Kenya has been fuelled by the global COVID-19 pandemic, whose effects such as business closure have led to massive job losses in Kenya and across the globe. Increasingly, job losses have led many people to seek alternative employment sources in sectors that may be seen as informal or unattractive, especially for youth.

Agribusiness offers hope, providing the highest level of informal employment in Kenya and contributing 25-34 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product. However, although agriculture employs approximately 60 per cent of Kenya’s labour force, the Kenya Youth Agribusiness Strategy estimates that only 10 per cent of the youth engage in agribusiness. The apparent lack of interest in agribusiness by the youth has been attributed to negative youth perception towards agriculture and a lack of sustainable programmes and policies to steer the growth of the agriculture sector.

An enabling environment, robust evidence and facilitative partnerships are essential factors in expanding employment opportunities for the youth in agribusiness.

The effectiveness of the partnership dimension was demonstrated in a recent collaborative convening which I was lucky to attend. The convening – Institutionalising a culture of Evidence-Informed Policy Making in Africa: Co-Creating, Learning Together – convened by Partnership for African Social Governance and Research (PASGR) brought together its collaborative houses under its innovative evidence-to-policy programme Utafiti Sera. The programme brings together communities of practice and interest or what the programme lead Dr M Atela refers to as ‘epistemic communities’ or ‘houses’ and provides end-to-end solutions to the gap between evidence and policy/programme action. Currently, the houses are using evidence to support stakeholder interests in polemic policy areas such as Youth Employment Creation, Urban Governance, water governance, protests in the energy sector and women voices in local leadership.

Dr. Hannington Odame, during Inter-house collaborative and reflection forum, presenting on youth employment creation in Agribusiness and Agro-processing

Although the forum discussed different topics, I will highlight discussions by the Centre for African Bio entrepreneurship (CABE) and Alternative Africa, which addressed youth employment creation in agribusiness and agro-processing along the mango and potato value chains in Nyandarua, West Pokot and Makueni counties. Through partnerships, the two houses accomplished remarkable success. For instance, the first public participation by the youth of Makueni County, providing their input to the Amendment of the Makueni Fruit Development and Marketing Regulations 2020 Act Youth Forum. The youth also formed WhatsApp groups comprised of youth in potato and mango value chains. The platforms facilitate peer-to-peer learning and have been instrumental in bridging a vital evidence gap by building a database for agribusiness Micro, small and medium enterprises.

Despite these successes, my attention was also drawn to challenges faced by the youth in these value chains. Researchers presented evidence on the challenges through different case studies on the value chains. A case in point is Uganda, where the sorghum value chain was strengthened by a brewery that contracted farmers to produce quality sorghum at agreed prices. This was important because it increased the quantity and quality of sorghum produced and stabilised commodity prices.

A value chain analysis in the Philippines revealed a need for fishermen to supply a uniform size of fish per the fishing regulations. In Rwanda, a dairy chain analysis revealed a need for milk cooling points and increased collaboration between dairy firms and farmers   (Norton,2014).

The above case studies suggest that sustainable agricultural value chains can reform agribusiness in Kenya, leading to inclusivity and beneficial outcomes for all stakeholders, including the private sector, the government, farmers and the consumers. The ensuing policy environment could be modelled around the socioeconomic, political, and ethical dimensions to achieve sustainable and programmes on youth employment.

But how then can this be achieved? This calls for capacity sharing (such as the peer-to-peer learning initiated by youths in this programme), meaningful stakeholder engagement, collaborations, and co-production. In addition, government support (financial and technical) to small scale farmers, provision of storage facilities, quality seeds, and access to land, water, and the market would cause a shift from subsistence farming to commercialisation.

Such reforms may cumulatively seal the gaps in the current agricultural systems and strategies and increase revenue first to the youth and then the government.

I want to acknowledge PASGR for its efforts in creating a space where the houses get to learn from each other and, most importantly, the importance of institutionalising the use of evidence in policymaking, specifically in agribusiness, as discussed in this blog.    

Blog by: Marion Otieno -Biochemist and currently an intern at PASGR

Juicing for jobs: Improving mango processing for youth job creation

Juicing for jobs: Improving mango processing for youth job creation

Mango processing can create thousands of jobs for the youth in Kenya, potentially reducing the country’s youth unemployment rate of 7.27 percent (ILO, 2020). This statement is consistent with the findings of a study by the Centre for African Bio-Entrepreneurship (CABE) under the auspices of Utafiti Sera House III on Youth Employment Creation in Agribusiness and Agro-processing in Kenya. The urgent need for job opportunities along the mango value chain is timely in view of changing demographics and the increased number of Kenya’s health-conscious middle class.

The study, funded by the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR), found that there are rising lifestyle changes in diet choices, demand for quality products, entertainment, eating, and spending habits.

Such changes can be seen for instance, in different urban and peri-urban eateries, supermarket shelves, and food markets which increasingly sell natural and processed juices. These lifestyle changes are projected to continue to drive the average growth in domestic demand for juice which the International Trade Centre reports (ITC, 2014) to be 49 percent per annum.     

Demand for quality juice

To effectively meet this increased demand for juice, Kenya imports U$5,395,000 worth of mango pulp annually, further threatening to stagnate the domestic mango industry. If the industry is to meet the demand for quality juice, there is need to trace quality back to the very bottom of the mango value chain – the farmers. A farmer can only produce quality fruits by planting quality varieties using and recommended agronomic practices. Once the variety and quality of mango seedling is right, there is need to use appropriate processing technology, but this also faces various challenges which need to be addressed.

The major stumbling blocks

The study, conducted between December 2017 and 2020 confirmed ITC’s statement that ‘’… [O]ver a long time, the Country [Kenya] has relied on the traditional fresh market domestically and internationally with little attention given to processed products.’’ Production and marketing of mangoes also face various challenges such as use of poor-quality planting material and production practices, weak agricultural extension, high post-harvest losses, weak linkages with industry policies, marketing deficiencies and lack of finance. Cumulatively, these challenges lead to inadequate quality and quantity of mangoes for processing, forcing Kenya to import mango pulp for processing mango juice. This not only contributes to unemployment in the mango value chain but also leads to loss of national income which could otherwise be channeled to the development agenda of the mango sector and beyond.

A youth in a nursery in Makueni County photo credit: PASGR/CABE Photographer

Based on findings of Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with the youth in Makueni and West Pokot Counties, the study revealed that there are job opportunities for the youth in an integrated services provision comprising of tree seedlings, extension, mango orchard expansion (new trees), augmentation (grafting varieties) and gradually replacing old orchards of table or fresh mango varieties with varieties suitable for processing as good starting point in dealing with these challenges. In addition, the study confirmed that mango processing offers a solution to the high post-harvest losses experienced in the main production areas, provides a market for the second-grade fruits and can potentially drive the much-needed reforms in the value chain.

Why mango processing?

Processing will increase availability and consumption of locally-produced mango juice, reduce post-harvest losses, increase efficiency in the value chain and employ the youth in input supply, spraying, packing, aggregating and marketing.

The ensuing effective and efficient mango value chain will strengthen linkages between farmers and processors. As a result, farmers will benefit from price incentives, market and product diversification. In addition, most farmersin Kenya already recognize thatNgowe’ mango variety is suitable for processing. As a result, cultivation of this variety offers potential for Kenya to undergo import substitution and source locally the required amount of mango juice. The subsequent benefits such as high quality and safety standardswill increase thescale and quality of mangoes produced. This could also create export opportunity for Kenya in regional markets such as Sudan, which currently imports mango juice from India (ITC, 2014)

What do we stand to lose if we do not process mangoes?

The magnitude of this question can be felt more now that we are in the peak of May-August mango season. During such seasons, markets across the country experience surplus in supply of mangoes which come with prices as low as less than Ksh 10 per fruit. In addition, most farmers suffer high post-harvest losses since mangoes are highly perishable. On a bigger scale, the opportunity cost of foreign exchange earnings spent on mango imports for juicing is U$ 5,395,000 per annum. It is projected that effective and efficient mango value chain will create 3, 200,000 jobs per year.

Conclusion

Ultimately, processing will increase domestic demand for ‘Ngowe’ mango varieties. Increased demand, will increase the prices of the fruit and consequently increase income for farmers who will in turn seek quality mango varieties. The spill-over of activities will work to streamline the entire value chain by strengthening extension service delivery in terms of personnel, messaging coordination in the production, processing and marketing activities. This calls for a need to strengthen linkages with industrial policies (agro-processing), improve markets of fresh and processed mangoes including investments in establishing aggregation, cold storage and transport infrastructure as well as improving access to finance for youth entrepreneurs to create jobs for themselves and others along the different segments of the mango value chain in the country.

                                                                         

East African countries champion integrated rice sector development in the region to curb escalating imports

East African countries champion integrated rice sector development in the region to curb escalating imports

As rice becomes a strategic commodity in Africa, many countries in East Africa have embarked on various programs that, along with continental initiatives, aim to chart a course of action for moving the regional rice sector forward.

At the recently concluded East Africa Rice Conference (EARC) 2021, key players from Africa’s agri-food sector listed increased availability and access to quality inputs via harmonized regional policies and regulations, public-private partnerships support in value chain upgrading and regional trade in local rice, and strengthened regional and national platforms to promote policy coordination and investment as top regional priorities to champion an integrated rice sector development in the region. These, together with other coordinated actions, will contribute to accelerated agri-food sector transformation to address challenges facing food and nutrition security in the region.

Organized by the Africa Rice Center, the Agricultural Policy Research in Africa Programme of the Future Agricultures Consortium, the Centre for African Bio-Entrepreneurship, the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD), the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, with support from the UK Aid and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office of the United Kingdom, EARC 2021 featured prominent scientists, experts, and thought leaders to discuss local and regional challenges and present the range of opportunities for research and development in rice-based agri-food systems.

Rice is the fastest-growing food staple in Africa with its demand growing at more than 6 percent annually. Rice cultivation is the primary source of income for more than 35 million smallholder farmers in the continent. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) cited that in most countries in Sub-saharan Africa (SSA), rice transitioned from luxury and holiday food to a major staple food and growing source of calories, due to growing economies, increasing urbanization, rising household incomes, improvements in infrastructure, and greater market access.

In her keynote speech at EARC 2021, CARD Secretariat Director and AGRA President Dr. Agnes Kalibata emphasized, “Increasing the competitiveness of the East African rice industry is critical to taking advantage of the improving trade environment and the expansion of production capacity and markets that we see on the continent.”

Currently, the increasing demand is being supplied by imports since the demand outpaces the production capacity of the region’s rice sector. USDA projects that SSA imports will shoot up to 15.4 million tons by 2026. Meanwhile, according to Kilimo Trust’s 2014 report, 500 million USD per annum of rice imports is accounted for in the East Africa Common Market area. Rice demand in the East Africa Community exceeds supply by over 0.6 million metric tons per annum, a deficit supplied with imports mainly from Asian countries. This provides a tremendous opportunity for farmers in the region, especially for over 1.5 million farming households that depend directly on rice for their food and livelihoods.

“The potential for growth in SSA’s rice sector is enormous. If proper interventions are in place, this existing potential can enable the region to produce more than its needs for consumption, allowing it to become a net rice exporter,” said Dr. Abdelbagi Ismail, EARC 2021 Chair and IRRI Regional Representative for Africa.

To move this forward, the CARD initiative has facilitated the development of the second national rice development strategy (NRDS2) of CARD member countries. “CARD works with governments and development partners to respond to the increasing importance of rice production in Africa,” explains Dr. Yusuke Haneishi, General Coordinator, CARD Secretariat. NRDS and NRDS2 clearly outline strategies, priority areas for investment, and targets based on the goal and strategic objectives of each country considering the importance of the rice sector to address food security, improve livelihoods of those who depend on the rice sector, and boost the countries’ and region’s economy.

“In a year in which the UN holds its first food systems summit, East Africa should seize the moment to apply a systems approach to rice. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has made the need for self-sufficiency more critical, providing an urgent reminder of the value of resilient agri-food systems to defend against volatility in food prices and exports,” CGIAR Special Representative to the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 Dr. Kanayo Nwanze said in his message during the opening program of EARC 2021.

The conference kicked-off on 18 May with simultaneous country workshops on related themes in six East African countries—Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. The virtual sessions were attended by more than 400 participants from across the globe between 19-20 May 2021.

The outcomes of the conference will be made available to relevant and interested stakeholders and will feed into the local and global agri-food systems transformation dialogues and recommendations in the lead up to the East African Regional Rice Strategy development and the United Nations Food Systems Summit.

About the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice)

AfricaRice contributes to reducing poverty, achieving food and nutrition security and improving livelihoods of farmers in Africa by increasing the productivity and profitability of rice-based agri-food systems, while ensuring the sustainability of natural resources.

About the Agricultural Policy Research in Africa programme of the Future Agricultures Consortium (APRA)

The Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) Programme pursues the most effective agricultural commercialization pathways to empower women, reduce rural poverty, and improve food and nutrition security in Sub-Saharan Africa through in-depth, interdisciplinary, and comparative research as part of the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC).

About the Centre for African Bio-Entrepreneurship (CABE)

The Centre for African Bio-Entrepreneurship (CABE) works to enhance the skills of smallholder farmers, women, and youth entrepreneurs in Kenya to advance their meaningful participation in agriculture and agribusiness. CABE does this by focusing on agro-entrepreneurship, market linkages, business development, research, innovations, and policy process.

About the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD)

CARD, a consultative group of development partners and research institutes, works to support the efforts of African countries to formulate and implement their National Rice Development Strategies (NRDS), with a view to doubling rice production on the continent. CARD also recently started engaging five Regional Economic Communities in Africa in preparing Regional Rice Development Strategies to address issues that can be better handled at the regional level.

About the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)

IRRI aims to improve livelihoods and nutrition, abolishing poverty, hunger, and malnutrition among those who depend on rice-based agri-food systems. In doing so, IRRI’s work protects the health of rice farmers and consumers, and the environmental sustainability of rice farming in a world challenged by climate change. IRRI’s work promotes the empowerment of women and supports opportunities for youth in an equitable agri-food system.

About the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

JICA’s cooperation in agricultural and rural development aims to ensure a stable food supply to people in both rural and urban areas and reduce poverty in rural communities — thereby driving economic development at national and regional levels. JICA as one of leading partners of the CARD Initiative supports the rice sector development in the continent.

About the UK Aid

UK Aid Direct works to reduce poverty in target countries by supporting civil society to improve contributions and mechanisms for sustained poverty reduction in marginalised and vulnerable communities.

About the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom

FCDO works to reduce poverty and tackle global challenges with its international partners.

Media contacts:

Sherwin Pineda

Senior Manager – Strategic Communications, IRRI

Email: s.pineda@irri.org

Brylle James Galang

Media and Social Media Relations Officer, IRRI

Email: b.galang@irri.org

Evelyn Otieno

Communications Officer, CABE

Tel. +254721226406

Email: evelyn@cabe-africa.org

Agro-pastoralist households urged to invest in pasture production

Agro-pastoralist households urged to invest in pasture production

Agro-pastoralist households living at Simailele village in Turkana County have been urged to utilize the 20-hectares of land set aside by the Drought Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods Program(DRSLP) to commercially invest in pasture production and generate income.

The CEC for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Ebei Aemun has also urged farmers to use available infrastructure to increase crop productivity not only for home consumption but also surplus for sale. Citing the Nariemeto Pasture Production Group in Songot that has progressed through the sale of pasture, Aemun called on farmers to consider venturing into it noting that the changing climatic conditions were increasingly becoming a threat, and therefore called for diversification of livelihoods.

He was speaking when he presided over the distribution of goats procured by Rural Livelihoods Adaptation to Climate Change component under DRSLP. The aim is to socially support 100 vulnerable households for community resilience due to adverse effects of climate change at Katilu Ward of Turkana South Sub-County. The Beneficiaries who received three goats each were drawn from Kalemngorok, Kangirega, Namakat, Nabeye and Simailele villages.

On Livestock disease surveillance and control, the CEC asked herders to get in touch with Veterinary officers saying the department was committed to providing a ready market where traders and Agro-pastoralist can sell their products.

The Drought Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods Project (DRSLP) activities aim at addressing the various impacts of climate change on rural livelihoods, by financing adaptation measures and associated services by leveraging on traditional knowledge of Agro-pastoral communities as well as sustainable technologies and practices. The project is being implemented by the National Government in partnership with the County Government through funding from GoK and African Development Bank.

There are plans to also restock for 375 families in Kapedo/Napeitom Ward who lost their animals to bandits. Similar programs have been lined up for other regions with the second phase which begins in July expected to target more households.

Source: Kilimo News

SIVAP Counties receive goodies

SIVAP Counties receive goodies

The Principal Secretary, State Department for Crop Development & Agricultural Research in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives Prof. Hamadi Boga today flagged off a consignment of seeds, seedlings, and other related inputs worth Kshs 12.75 million to be distributed to SIVAP counties.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives through the State Department for Crop Development and Agricultural Research is implementing the Small Scale Irrigation and Value Addition Programme (SIVAP) funded by a loan from Africa Development Bank (AfDB), a grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP) and the Government of Kenya.

SIVAP is operating in 11 counties namely: Makueni, Kajiado, Machakos, Bomet, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Nyeri, Tana River, Murang’a, Nyandarua and Kitui.

The current on-going SIVAP projects include 12 irrigation schemes, 38 water pans, 17 bore holes, 8 shallow wells and sand dams, 5 grading shades, 4 Livestock Sale Yards and Rehabilitation of 65 KMs of rural roads which are at various stages of completion.

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