The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has rolled out a US$40mn programme that will aim to boost productivity for smallholder farmers in 22 counties in Kenya
The Kenya Agricultural Value Chains Enterprises Project hopes to boost economic stability, food security and also improve nutrition among small-scale farmers in the counties. It will also be expected to improve the welfare of farmers in rural areas by assisting them in boosting their incomes.
The project will work with smallholder farmers, businesses and government partners to address constraints in value-addition chains such as agro-processors, input suppliers, transporters, exporters, retailers and financing.
It is also expanding to include a number of micro, small and medium enterprises that can compete in selected markets, increasing the gross value of products and services overall, and expanding market share in local and export markets.
Through the fostering of innovation and promotion of technologies and techniques to increase consumption of more nutritious foods in rural households, the project will be expected to sustainably reduce chronic under-nutrition.
The 500,000 farmers who stand to benefit will derive from Bomet, Trans Nzoia, Elgeyo Marakwet, Uasin Gishu, Kericho and Bungoma counties. Other counties falling under the projects reach include Busia, Kakamega, Vihiga, Siaya, Homa Bay, Kisumu, Nyamira, Kisii, Migori, Meru , Tharaka Nithi, Machakos, Makueni, Kitui and Taita Taveta.
The programme, in partnership with the Kenyan government, will also provide small-scale farmers with adequate assistance to combat poverty, hunger and food insecurity at the grassroot level.