- Boosting agricultural productivity, have also led to higher incomes and improved food security for beneficiaries of all projects
- Horticulture is extremely important to the national economy, accounting for about 33 per cent of the country’s agricultural gross domestic product
- IFAD programme made a contribution to the social and economic empowerment of youth and the new project designs caused delays in disbursement, recruitment of qualified staff and partnership agreements
- There is need to engage more effectively with policymakers on pertinent issues of agricultural and rural development, based on lessons learned from implementation
Nairobi- Rural development projects financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have contributed to increase productivity, incomes and food security in Kenya, according to a new report presented today in the capital city of Nairobi.
The report, prepared by the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE), reviews the past seven years of work that IFAD has undertaken together with the Kenyan government. Since 1979, IFAD has invested in 18 projects and programmes in the country for a total cost of US$813.3 million, of which $376 million was financed by IFAD.
According to the report’s findings, IFAD has been innovative in bringing solutions around credit delivery, agro-processing and environmental management. The report notes that the IFAD-funded projects have achieved remarkable gender equality results.
In particular, women’s access to resources, assets and services has improved and they have gained more influence in decision-making both at home and within their communities.
Donal Brown, Associate Vice-President, Programme Management Department of IFAD, said they are determined to continue supporting the government in its efforts to improve food security and nutrition for rural families, while building on lessons learned to improve the impact of our efforts
“For nearly 40 years, IFAD and Kenya have worked together with small farming families to raise their production and incomes. The evaluation gives us further evidence of how these families have more access to diverse food, with higher levels of animal and vegetable proteins.”
The results and findings of another report – a recently conducted impact evaluation on the Smallholder Marketing Programme in Kenya – were also presented today.
“We need to strengthen policy engagement and create more space and opportunities for engaging the private sector,” said Oscar Garcia, IOE’s Director. “The private sector is expected to contribute significant financing to drive the rural economy.
The programme had a significant impact on farmers’ incomes and food security, increasing the quality and quantity of horticultural production in the country through the use of a value chain approach. The farmers who benefited from the programme had higher income gains as a result of greater gross margins driven mainly by higher yields in some of the horticultural commodities that the programme promoted, such as bananas and Irish potatoes.
The report also highlights the issues that still need to be addressed.