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Test Project

Test Project

The women Food Entrepreneurs (WFE) research is a project under the Dutch Food & Business Knowledge Platform (http://knowledge4food.net/) that aims to strengthen women’s food entrepreneurship in city slums of Kenya and Burkina Faso. It builds on an inclusive business model for food security based on an integrated undertaking of the complex interactions between soil quality, food production, quality and nutrition for vulnerable groups.

This project has a transdisciplinary team of social and natural scientists namely Dutch, Kenyan and Burkinabe collaborating with local stakeholders and community-based women groups.

Through a comparative analysis between Kisumu and Ouagadougou, this research addresses the constraints faced by women as:(i)food producers in (peri) urban gardens, (ii)food processors and (iii) food marketers within diversified physical, environmental, social and policy contexts

The project co-designs and undertakes field tests for hybrid food production, processing and marketing technologies, enhancing and promoting women’s business knowledge and skills through inclusive business models.

Our aim and objectives

The project WFE aims to strengthen women’s food entrepreneurship in city slums in Kenya and Burkina Faso, by building inclusive business models for food security.

Its objectives are:

  • Boosting women’s production, processing and trading of quality foods in Africa’s growing cities to improve food and nutrition security to vulnerable populations.
  • Field-testing innovative food production and processing methods, and
  • Designing inclusive business models for women food entrepreneurs

In November 2015, the project kicked off with a meeting in Kenya. Two social science PhDs (one for Kisumu and one for Ouagadougou) teamed up with one natural science PhD (studying in both locations). Collaboration was sought in each location, through participatory workshops, with three urban WFE groups.

The WFE research projects have developed research-based outputs through co-creation with the WFE groups and local stakeholders, including:

  • Two seasonal calendars 2016 and 2018
  • Rock dust analysis report 2017
  • Soil sample test results 2017
  • Food and nutrition survey Nyalenda and Obunga 2017
  • Released a publication on inclusive business titled Governance and Inclusive Development programme group (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877343517300428)

University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research (UvA-AISSR) & Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED), the Netherlands

Centre for African Bio-entrepreneurship (CABE), Kenya

Victoria Institute for Research on Environment and Development (VIRED) Kenya

Etudes Actions Conseils (EAC), Burkina Faso

Dresden University of Technology (TUD), Germany

Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), the Netherlands

Institute de Recherché en Science de la Santé (IRSS), Burkina Faso

Netherlands Agro, Food and Technology Centre (NAFTC Africa)

Bodembergsma, the Netherlands

Food & Business Knowledge Platform, the Netherlands

Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research WOTRO Science for Global Development (NOW-WOTRO), the Netherlands


Since the turn of the Ethiopian Millennium and consideration of rice as a “Millennium crop”, the Ethiopian Government and its development partners have been giving due attention to rice sector development and different strategic and policy documents have been developed including National Rice Research and Development Strategy (2010 – 2020), the National Rice Development Strategy (2021 – 2030), the National Seed Sector Development Strategy (since 2017), and the National Agricultural Investment Plan (2020 – 2030) that considered rice as one of the five important commodities (MoA, 2020 and 2021; MoANR, 2017; MoARD, 2009). These documents indicate the huge potential the country is endowed with for rice sector development. However, the performance of the rice sector was not to the expectation as there has been considerable mismatch between the rate of increase in consumption and domestic production forcing the country to import using its meagre foreign currency reserves. Thus, it is timely endeavor to design and implement rice specific flagship programme with adequate mobilization of human and financial resources.

The specific nature of rice and the domestic evidences especially in the Fogera plain indicate that rice and its commercialization has huge potential in (i) promoting food and nutritional security and income for smallholder and commercial farmers, (ii) enhancing gender and social inclusion and emergence of rural labor market, and (iii) promoting overall agrarian changes through rural-urban linkages (Alemu and Thompson, 2020). The APRA Ethiopia research has clearly documented how the Fogera plain known for food insecurity and dependence on
humanitarian assistance has become one of the areas with demonstrated agrarian changes and livelihood improvements following rice introduction in late 1970s. This implies the huge potential contribution of the Flagship Programme within the agri-food system framework at the country level (Van Berkum et al., 2018); HLPE, 2017).

With the funding from Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), CABE Africa-led Consortium was engaged to design a Flagship Programme on Rice in Ethiopia to better support the resilience of food system MSMEs in both the current crisis and in future crises. The overarching goal was to enabling building back
better and supporting healthy diets in the food systems in which GAIN operates.

Also, the flagship programme wasdesigned to ensure the implementation of the National Rice Sector Development Strategy II (2020 – 2030), which targets the enhanced exploitation of existing rice production potential to ensure (i) improved food and nutritional security at household level, (ii) enhanced livelihood opportunities from the rice based agrarian changes including development of rice processing industry, associated social services and business opportunities, and (iii) rice import substitution.



Policy dialogue meeting at Fairview Hotel, 28th April 2022

Africa’s youth population, currently the highest in the world, is expected to double by 2030. High unemployment rates continue to be a major challenge that can turn this demographic group into a ticking time bomb, if left unmitigated. As more people migrate to the cities, the demand for food is substantially growing, creating many employment opportunities in the agriculture and agro-processing sectors. However, these opportunities remain underexplored and under-utilised by the youth and policy-actors alike.

The Utafiti Sera: Youth Employment in Agriculture and Agro-processing in Kenya was inaugurated in December 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya by Partnership for African Social and Governance Research – PASGR (www.pasgr.org ). The project implemented by CABE seeks to use research evidence to enhance policy processes and outcomes on youth employment in the agriculture and agro-processing sectors. The key stakeholders are policymakers in the national and county governments, policymakers in the ministries which work with the youth (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Development, training and vocational education institutions), development partners, donors, Non-Governmental Organizations, academic institutions, the private sector, youth farmers and innovators.

The thematic focus of Utafiti sera phase III was inspired by the outcomes of previous Utafiti Sera discussions on Employment in the Sugar and Horticulture industry in Kenya and Nigeria between 2015 – 2017. During these discussions, it emerged that there is limited comprehensive data on youth employment opportunities and best practices, despite the endorsement of many policies and programmes which aim to promote youth employment in Africa. In addition, the youth are often marginalized in conversations on wage employment at both policy and programme level. The programme seeks to address these concerns to bridge the gap between the youth, researchers, and policymakers to identify and promote best practices in youth employment initiatives in agriculture and agro-processing.

The main activities for Utafiti sera phase III aim to bridge the gap between research and public policy. This can be achieved by providing policy-relevant research evidence on what works to promote youth employment; making evidence available to policy makers in user-friendly formats; and providing spaces for discussions to inform government policies and practice which can help tackle challenges of youth unemployment in Africa.

The specific objectives:

i) Build, facilitate, enhance and sustain a vibrant research-policy community on
employment creation and inclusive growth in agriculture and agro-processing.

ii) Synthesize new and existing relevant research evidence on youth employment
creation in agriculture and agro-processing and make them available to policymakers
and practitioners using policy briefs, newspaper articles, and infographics; and

iii) Engage key policymakers and practitioners through direct contact, policy
advocacy and use of productive employment and inclusive growth champions during
breakfast meetings, policy debates, workshops, and various other venues.

#AgribusinessinKenya, #ClimatesmartagricultureinKenya, FoodsecurityinKenya, #RuraldevelopmentinKenya, #SustainableagricultureinKenya, #YouthinagricultureinKenya,

Monitoring Baseline Study Report of the National Rice Development Strategy in Kenya


The Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) undertakes to improve the rice production in the Sub-Saharan Africa to support food security initiatives by leading to improve interventions, both in quantity and quality by supporting the country level formulation and implementation of the National Rice Development Strategy (NRDS). The first phase of CARD’s initiatives achieved its goal of doubling rice production by 2018. However, there is still a significant demand-supply gap amid increased demand for rice in the Sub-Saharan Africa. CARD’s second phase targets doubling rice production to 56 million tons by 2030. CARD sought to evaluate the progress of the NRDS in Kenya through a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) baseline survey based on the approved RICE (Resilience, Industrialization, Competitiveness and Empowerment) approach with a focus on twelve indicators. The indicators include quantity of paddy production, total area harvested, yield per unit area, self-sufficiency rate, area under irrigation, quantity of resilient variety seeds, level of milling sector upgrading, level of mechanization in production, share of local rice in the market, quantity of high-yielding variety seeds, smallholder farmers’ accessibility to financial services and Smallholder farmers’ accessibility to technical training or services. The M&E baseline survey sought to collect necessary data for each of the twelve indicators, identified in the Kenya’s NRDS M&E framework, to analyse the data and prepare a report to inform decision making.

With funding from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), CABE was consulted to present the background of the M&E framework, the methodology adopted in collecting the data for each indicator, and presentation of the baseline survey findings for each indicator.

Agro Dealer Led Climate-Smart Demos (ALCSD)


Agro Dealer Led Climate Smart Demos (ALCSD)

This consultancy aimed at capturing information on farmer behaviour change both at the Farmer and Agro dealer level as a result of the crop seed demonstrations in 20 counties in Kenya. The behaviour change anticipated was a shift by farmers from planting a recycled to certified seed, b) incorrectly positioned seed varieties, and c) mainly maize to planting other crops that are climate-smart.

It employed the OECD-DAC criteria evaluation framework (i.e., relevance, effectiveness, impact, efficiency, sustainability) –using a mixed methods approach (qualitative and quantitative).

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