Starting in October 2015, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), in partnership with two other CGIAR centres, has initiated a new three-year USD 25 million program to help lift 317,000 households out of poverty, making them food secure and enabling their transition from subsistence to market-orientated farming.
This latest ILRI-led initiative focuses accelerating value chain development in 23 counties in Kenya.
Sustaining the Kenyan government’s targeted annual GDP growth rate of 7% will require extensive policy reform and considerable public and private sector investment in the sector. Despite improvements in the last 15 years, Kenya is still a food and nutrition insecure country. Incidence of undernourishment stands at 25% nationally, affecting between 15% and 85% of the population in high rainfall and semi-arid areas respectively. Reducing poverty, hunger and malnutrition, therefore, remains a priority for the country.
Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of the global hunger and food security initiative in Kenya, the Feed the Future Kenya Accelerated Value Chain Development (AVCD) program seeks to apply technologies and innovations in four value chains, contributing to increased productivity, inclusive agricultural growth, and nutrition and food security. This latest ILRI-led initiative focuses on accelerating value chain development in 23 counties in Kenya through the livestock, dairy, staple crops root crops and staple drought-tolerant crops value chains.
The underlying causes of food and nutrition insecurity in Kenya include low agricultural productivity, frequent droughts, lack of knowledge on good nutrition practices, poor natural resource management, dysfunctional markets, over-dependence on rain-fed agriculture, and limited investment in the country’s arid and semi-arid regions.
In partnership with the International Crops for Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the International Potato Center (CIP), ILRI will lead the implementation of AVCD. The three CGIAR centres will work closely with partners—county governments, NGOs, CBOs, private sector actors and other USAID-funded projects/programs, as well as leverage knowledge and best practices from academic institutions and foundations.