Projects & Programs

Re-thinking Strategy on Animal Health, Markets and Policy (ReSAHMaP) in Pastoralist Areas of East Africa.

CABE is implementing the ReSAHMaP project which is about enhancing the capacity of pastoral communities to participate in policy processes for Food Security in Pastoralist Areas of East Africa. This project has been funded by the Open Society Initiative for East Africa (OSIEA) and focuses on supporting learning by interaction to strengthen livestock policy and practice in Turkana County, in Kenya. The project’s aim is to enhance the capacity of pastoral communities to influence decision making with respect to climate change, animal health, livestock markets and policy for improved livelihoods and food security. The objectives of this project are to:

  1. Build the capacity of pastoral communities on animal health, trade and policy, by engaging a local capacity building field assistant;
  2. Document existing climate-smart pastoral practices, innovations in disease surveillance and management and innovative livestock marketing and trading initiatives to facilitate learning, and to inform policy and practice;
  3. Establish avenues for county-level policy debates and dialogues on animal health, trade, climate smart pastoralism, food security and livelihood; and
  4. Review, create awareness and advocacy for supportive policies at county, national and regional levels.

The primary beneficiaries of this project are nomadic and sedentary pastoralists in Turkana County who will benefit from improved awareness and utilization of innovative delivery of veterinary services; and access and use of livestock marketing and trading information and opportunities.The project also envisions raising voices of pastoralists through awareness creation and policy advocacy.

So far relevant stakeholders have been identified and have participated in meetings to establish the relevance of the project and an early buy in. Pastoral communities and government staff have also been engaged through focus group discussions to establish innovations, capacity needs, priority needs and trigger engagements with responsible actors for supportive policies and their engagement. Through key informant discussions  the project team has been able to identify influencers in the county’s policy debate for engagement in dissemination,identifying political opportunities/policy moments in the devolved government structure and also networking to anchor the project in the county-development circles.

A number of avenues for policy debates and dialogues on the three thematic areas have been identified and plans are being concretized for engagement within the next few months. Review of policy on the thematic areas has been undertaken, identifying gaps and opportunities; to be shared through policy briefs. See detailed interim report ReSAHMaP\ReSAHMaP Interim Report_Aug 2016.pdf

Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Market Linkages Project

The Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition (BFN) Market Linkages Project: An Adapted Farmer Business School (FBS) model and the Development of a Supply Chain Model for African Leafy Vegetables is a pilot project working with identified entrepreneurial farmer groups to build their capacity in the sustainable production of nutrient-rich crops and strengthen their capacity to respond to market demands for these crops.

The project targets institutional markets such as local schools, clinics and many others; to increase the appreciation and use of local nutritious biodiversity to improve dietary diversity. The overall aim of this pilot project to improve the sustainable production and consumption of nutrient-rich indigenous crops to diversify diets in Busia County, Western Kenya, by linking rural entrepreneurs to institutional markets.

The objectives of this project are to:

  1. To empower community-based organizations (CBOs) and self-help groups (SHGs), especially women, to supply markets for nutrient-rich foods by improving sustainable production using best practices, improved processing,handling, marketing, financial and business management;
  2. To develop institutional markets (schools, clinics, etc.) and supply chains for nutrient-rich foods to support the improvement of dietary diversity in institutions and;
  3. To raise awareness among target groups of the value of indigenous crops in improving diets, especially women and young children, leading to increased demand for nutritious foods in the wider population.

So far the project staff in the seven (7) sub-counties of Busia County have undertaken a capacity assessment exercise to profile the groups on various aspects of governance, entrepreneurship skills, understanding of food and nutrition, marketing and market linkages as well as development of business plans. Anchor farmers and group committees have been identified and various group training specific modules are ongoing. Cooking demonstrations have be undertaken.

Capacity building activities in nutrition education, understanding marketing and building the capacity of farmer groups to conduct market surveys are underway.See Progress Report:BFN_Market linkages\Progress report 1_BFN project-Oct 2016.doc

 Table Banking Project

The Table Banking Project is a financial inclusion project that seeks to increase access to affordable financial services to rural people especially women and youth through micro finance and thus contribute towards poverty eradication, increased incomes, employment creation and building of wealth among the low income people in western Kenya. The innovative microfinance savings and credit scheme or ’’table-banking’’ project objective is to bridge the gap of limited access to credit and financial services by smallholder farmers and small scale entrepreneurs.

This has been a three-year project (2013-2015) which was funded by the Buren Churches, Netherlands and CORDAID; and implemented in Samia District, Busia County of Western Kenya.

The objectives of the Table Banking Project have been achieved by building the capacity of project beneficiaries to access credit through self-help groups which they can use to advance their income-generating activities.

Since the inception of the project to date, the project has built the capacity of 29 Self Help Groups (SHGs) with a total membership of 576 members and so far the achievements made by the project have been:

  • Formation and organization of additional self help groups-24 new groups have been formed
  • Training of groups on: (i) group dynamics; (ii) table banking and entrepreneurship; (iii) refresher training of old groups –main focus being the new rules and regulations governing the Table Banking project; (iv) group governance –focusing on constitution and by-laws to govern their activities; (v) Poultry husbandry and Management as an alternative income generating activity.
  • Disbursement of Ksh583,000 as top-up funds to groups.
  • Establishment of linkages with CABE’s poultry commercialization project which trained members on poultry husbandry and management.

Moving forward CABE has also come up with other loan products to cushion members from spending their enterprise loans on their pressing social needs such as education and funerals. The two are saving schemes targeting school fees and investment in agricultural inputs.We are also designing a new loan product, ‘market day’ loan (soko loan), with a shorter repayment period, of one week and hope to roll it out soon. This is meant to support SMEs who are often in need of short-term loans to invest in their business during the market day (typically once per week) and repay thereafter.

See Summary reports Table Banking project\Summary report Table Banking01022016.doc

Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR)

CABE is a Host of Utafiti Sera – a Platform facilitated by Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR); that brings together a community of practice of various stakeholders to effectively engage and transform research evidence – based knowledge for policy uptake on Employment.

As a host of Utafiti Sera, CABE is organising forums on topical issues on wage employment in the sugar and horticulture sectors based on research evidence; developing policy briefs, newspaper articles and info-graphics on wage employment creation in the sector; as well as breakfast meetings with different stakeholders in legislative houses on employment creation.

The sugar forum was held on 15th of November 2016 bringing together 43 stakeholders to discuss issues on “Employment creation in sugar sector in Kenya: Challenging the political economy dilemmas and the role of Utafiti Sera”. Another forum on floriculture is underway to be held in January 2015 and subsequent meetings with parliamentarians thereafter to share findings and  for policy engagement.

Women Food Entrepreneurs (WFE) in Kenya and Burkina Faso

Jubilee Market Kisumu

The Women Food Entrepreneurs project is a four year project (2015-2019) that focuses on building inclusive business models for food security in the city slums of Kisumu and Ouagadougou. The project aims to strengthen women food entrepreneurship in city slums in Kenya & Burkina Faso, based on an integrated understanding of the complex interactions between soil quality, food production and quality and nutrition for vulnerable groups.

This project focuses on addressing the constraints faced by women as food producers in (peri-)urban gardens, food processors and food marketers, within diversified physical, environment, social and policy contexts. Through its implementation the project envisages co-designing and field-testing hybrid food production and processing technologies; as well as enhancing and promoting women’s business knowledge and skills through inclusive business models.

The WFE project is an interdisciplinary research project implemented with a consortium of partners: Faculty of Natural Sciences (University of Amsterdam); Netherlands Agro, Food and Technology Centre; Koninklijk Instituut boor de Tropen (The Netherlands); Centre for African Bio-Entrepreneurship (Kenya); Victoria Institute for Research on Environment and Development (Kenya); and Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Sante de Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkino Faso). Learn more about Women Food Entreprenuers on http://knowledge4food.net/research-project/women-food-entrepreneurs-in-kenya-and-burkina-faso/

UvA MSc. Research Project

CABE also supports students from the University of Amsterdam in undertaking MSc. Research projects in Kenya . So far 13 students have successfully completed their research thesis in the areas of , social capital, livelihoods, food and nutrition,entrepreneurship and microfinance.  Those students who have accomplished their research projects have produced policy briefs in relation to the various issues of project focus. (See Link).

 Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA)

APRA is a five-year programme building on research and policy engagement work by the Future Agricultures Consortium which focuses on analysing and understanding agricultural policy processes in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The project’s aim is to produce new information and insights into different pathways to agricultural commercialisation in order to assess their impacts and outcomes to rural poverty, women and girl’s empowerment and food and nutrition security in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The projects objectives are:

  1. Generating high-quality evidence on pathways to agricultural commercialisation in Africa using a rigorous mix of quantitative and qualitative methods.
  2. Undertaking policy research on agricultural commercialisation to fill the key evidence gaps and define policy options.
  3. Ensuring the sharing and uptake of research by diverse range of stakeholders
  4. Strengthening the capacity of the research team and associated partner institutions , to deliver high quality research and advise.

This project is to be implemented in six countries across East, West and Southern Africa (Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zimbabwe) representing a diverse range of commercialisation contexts and activities.

The inception Phase held in August 2016 established Regional Reference Groups of stakeholders with knowledge and interest in commercialisation process in the three focal regions. These stakeholders offered insights into APRA research activities and findings, commercialisation challenges and opportunities; and engaged in an on-going dialogue with APRA colleagues in their regions and countries.

In the next five years APRA Research Programme Consortium will fill in Important “evidence gaps” by undertaking in-depth research analysis and dissemination on the impact of processes of commercialization in African Agriculture. This will involve a variety of country and regional-level activities to make evidence available for decision makers, drawing insights from comparative , mixed -methods research and in-depth policy studies.