Kenya

EU and Partners commit to improve food security (19/11/2015)

Nairobi, Kenya: November 19, 2015 ─ The European Union, the Government of Kenya, IFAD and other partners have today made a commitment to improve national food security in the country by increasing production of cereal staples and the income of smallholder farmers to allow them graduate into market-oriented commercial farming.

The programme aims to improve the economic well-being of thousands Kenyan smallholder farmers

Nairobi, Kenya: November 19, 2015 ─ The European Union, the Government of Kenya, IFAD and other partners have today made a commitment to improve national food security in the country by increasing production of cereal staples and the income of smallholder farmers to allow them graduate into market-oriented commercial farming.

The Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme (KCEP) and its Climate Resilient Agricultural Livelihoods window (CRAL) will benefit 185,000 smallholder farmers in 13 counties across the country especially in arid and semi-arid areas. It will contribute to Kenya’s national goal of food security as it will add an additional 41,000 Metric Tonnes and also reduce the national grain deficit by 10 %. The Food Security and Resilience to Climate Shocks is one of the three focal sectors for EU-Kenya partnership: the KCEP-CRAL programme is one of the initiatives under this focal area. The EU will contribute 27.1million Euro through IFAD, and 9.5million Euro through the FAO.

Speaking in Nairobi at a ceremony to present the programme to the President of Kenya, Mr. Stefano A. Dejak, the EU Ambassador and Head of EU delegation to Kenya noted that "the programme is at the heart of the work of the EU in Kenya as it represents EU-Kenya partnership approach in building a strong emerging economy that benefits all Kenyans".

“Smallholder farmers are the main target for the EU. We aim to assist a part of the 60 % population who are still in subsistence farming to become successful market actors and to improve their resilience to climate change,” said Mr. Dejak.

He pointed out that this innovative programme should pave the way for the development of a vibrant private sector, adding that there is need for a clear and coherent policy on input subsidies and access to financial markets to help grow and attract genuine investors in the agricultural sector.

One of the challenges facing smallholder farmers is the lack of access to markets, due to low productivity, insufficient knowledge on adapted agricultural practices and foremost little access to capital and appropriate inputs.

The programme will be implemented by different stakeholders including the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, IFAD, FAO, WFP, the Cereal Growers' Association, KALRO and AgMARK.