Kenya is a country with strong fundamentals boasting a GDP growth of 5.6% p.a. and a vast and vibrant agricultural sector that contributes 30% to the GDP, 65% of all exports and employs more than 75% of the country’s population. In response to changes in Kenya’s macro-economic context and country constitutional shift to a devolved structure, Kenya is developing a new agricultural strategy and positioning itself to transform its agricultural systems and increase the productivity and income of smallholder farmers. There is a great likelihood of successful transformation given the high agricultural potential, vibrant private sector ready to invest in agriculture and government commitment.
However, the Kenyan agricultural sector still faces constraints that prevent it from becoming competitive and fostering inclusive economic growth. These constraints include
- Weak sector coordination mechanisms and limited evidence-based policy making
- Unstructured value chains limiting access to major grain markets and high post-harvest losses
- Lack of resilience to climate change
- Limited access to agriculture credit currently at 4%
AGRA’s strategy prioritizes initiatives that complement the work of other actors to significantly increase smallholder farmers’ income, food security and nutrition by driving productivity, strengthening linkages between market and production systems, supporting government to deliver on its priorities and supporting development of an improved enabling environment. AGRA’s strategy emphasizes gender inclusive transformation through gender integrated approaches to drive equitable access to inputs, finance and agriculture education. The strategy draws heavily from lessons learned from AGRA’s past investments totaling ~$43 million in Kenya’s agriculture in input systems development, market development and post-harvest management. AGRA priority and investment will focus on the following strategic choices:
- Support to the government on planning, coordination and implementation and creation of a private sector enabling environment:Partnering with the Government of Kenya in the review of the sector strategy (ASDS) with the view of identifying and perationalizing flagship projects that will drive sector growth and strengthen the agricultural sector coordination and delivery.
- Scaling up system and farmer level initiatives in four selected priority value chains selected due to their strategic importance for food security, nutrition and income growth. In these value chains AGRA will seek to:
- Unblock systemic issues around access to markets, inputs and finance, participation of women and youth in Agriculture.
- Expanded market access through value addition, structured trade, quality enhancement and aggregation.
- AGRA interventions will focus in central and northern regions of Malawi and will directly impact 0.8M farmer households.
- Targeted interventions will address critical resource gaps to catalyze private and public sector investments in each of the 4 value chains with the overall goal of impacting 1.65 million smallholder farmers over the next 5 years.