- KALRO has launched a five-year National Agricultural Value Chain Development Project (NAVCPD) to improve food security.
- The project, funded by KALRO, the World Bank, and other partners, aims to support smallholder farmers in transitioning to commercial farming.
- Technology will play a crucial role in providing farmers with essential information, and the project seeks to empower women farmers and reduce imports while increasing exports.
Kenya’s Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) has introduced a significant initiative known as the National Agricultural Value Chain Development Project (NAVCPD).
This five-year project is designed to enhance food security in the country. It’s a collaborative effort, with KALRO, the World Bank, and other partners contributing to its funding.
Over the five-year period, KALRO is investing Sh.3.5 billion, while the participating 33 counties are expected to contribute approximately Sh.20 billion.
The primary goal of the NAVCPD is to transform the agricultural sector, specifically by assisting smallholder farmers in transitioning from subsistence farming to commercial agriculture. This transformation involves adding value to agricultural products and establishing essential connections to markets.
One key element of this project is the use of technology to provide farmers with critical information. This includes insights into market conditions, weather patterns affecting agriculture, access to quality planting materials, and improved livestock breeds.
For example, KALRO has developed an enhanced breed of poultry known as ‘Kienyeji,’ which promises increased meat and egg production for smallholder farmers.
KALRO has already made significant strides by registering five million smallholder farmers in their system. This registration enables KALRO to share real-time information with farmers, a vital component for the project’s success.
Importantly, the project focuses on empowering women farmers, who make up a significant portion of smallholders in rural areas. By organizing them into groups and facilitating market connections, the project aims to motivate increased agricultural production.
This will not only enhance food security but also improve nutrition for their families.
Furthermore, the project aims to reduce imports and boost exports, positively impacting Kenya’s economy. KALRO is collaborating with licensed seed processors to ensure a consistent supply of quality planting materials for farmers.
Additionally, climate-resilience-certified seeds and improved livestock breeds will be provided to enhance productivity.
The NAVCPD’s overarching objective is to increase market participation and value addition for farmers engaged in selected value chains across 33 counties.
These value chains align with national priorities, focusing on areas such as dairy, poultry, coffee, and more. This approach supports key pillars, including Food and Nutrition Security, Growing Exports, and Reducing Imports.
To enhance services for farmers, the project will provide specific data, thorough analytics, and streamlined service delivery. Farmers will benefit from relevant agro-weather information and market insights, leveraging advanced analytics and reporting tools.