Kenya Sorghum Value Chain Development

Country: Kenya
Project details
Services:
Access to finance
Capacity building
Climate-smart agriculture
Enterprise development
Market assessment
Value chain development
Crops:
Cereals
Households reached:
18,000

Kenya Sorghum Value Chain Development, 2012-15
Donors: European Union; National Drought Management Authority (NDMA)
Partners: Cooperative League of United States of America (CLUSA); Community Micro-enterprise for Hope Africa (COMEHA); CARITAS Meru; PanAAC; Weaverbird; Mwalimu Enterprise; PM Enterprise; Sorghum Pioneer Agencies; Kimendi Investments; Shalem Investments; Gibson Wachira; Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO); State Ministry of Agriculture; Country Departments of Agriculture and Live Stock; East African Breweries Limited (EABL); Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology; The Eastern African Grain Council (EAGC).

Goals:
To achieve sustainable rural development and agricultural growth in semi-arid counties in Kenya, including Makueni, Embu, Kitui, Tharaka Nithi and Meru. More specifically, the project aims to a) improve the level of food security and living standard of sorghum farmers in semi-arid areas by quantitative and qualitative increases in sorghum production;
b) increase agricultural production and income of farmers to reduce food dependency in these areas; and c) support structuring of producer organizations and their integration into the sorghum value chain and strengthen marketing capacity of producers through the establishment of a public-private partnership.

What We Do:
The project identified four different result areas. In result area I, we introduced the new sorghum varieties as well as the technologies including soil and water conservation practices to the farmers. We trained the farmers on best sorghum production and post-harvest handling practices. We also conducted economic analyses of alternative cultivation practices. In result area II, we worked to identify and mobilize groups and farmers as well as to strengthen the technical and organizational capacity of farmer groups and nucleus farmers. Identification, formation, and training of village level credit groups were also carried out to improve access to seed, fertilizers and other inputs. In result area III, we developed and tested contract templates for the relationship intermediary agent and nucleus farmer, nucleus farmer and out-growers, as well as nucleus farmer and input providers. We also provided assistance to nucleus farmers in the development of business plans through workshops and individual consultation. Access to short-term credit was also facilitated for input delivery and long-term credit for equipment. Lastly, in result area IV, we facilitated broker contract discussion amongst agro-processors, agro-dealers, and/or wholesale traders, intermediary purchasing agents and producers’ association in order to identify long-term contract mechanisms between actors in the sorghum supply chain. We assisted agro-dealers and intermediary buying agents to develop business plans and facilitated access to credit. Last but not the least, we introduced warehouse receipt procedures to the farmers.

Accomplishments:
In result area I, we were able to conduct multiple pieces of training on news sorghum varieties, aspects of quality and efficient use of conducive technology. And as a result, the productivity of the sorghum sector was greatly improved. In result area II, we managed to organize and strengthen producers group in organizational development, access to credit and saving facilities as well as marketing. In result area III and IV, we were successful in strengthening the market linkage by building relationships amongst local and private sectors as well as producer groups as well as building capacity of local input and service providers along the sorghum value chain. The overall result of the project is quite fruitful. In fact, project’s cumulative achievement have overpassed by over 50% of the planned targets in terms of number of households recruited for the project, the acreage placed under sorghum farming, the quantity of improved seed distributed, the number of producer organizations, farmers and credit groups trained and the tonnage of sorghum harvested and sold to EABL and other buyers.