The Feed the Future Kenya Crops and Dairy Market Systems Activity, also known as KCDMS, is a USAID program that began in October 2017. The program aims to strengthen market systems in Kenya for horticulture and dairy value chains. RTI International leads the activity in partnership with several organizations, including the East Africa Market Development Associates (EAMDA), Farm Input Promotions Africa (FIPS Africa), Making Cents International, Open Capital Advisors, ILRI, and the Busara Centre for Behavioral Economics. KCDMS is operational in 12 counties, supporting value chain actors in dairy, fodder/feeds, and horticulture to sustainably improve Kenya’s agricultural landscape. The project’s long-term objective is to increase agricultural productivity, enhance food security, and create income and employment opportunities, especially for the rural population.
Although KCDMS was expected to close in November 2022 after its five-year implementation, the project’s impact on food insecurity was still being felt by many farming households in KCDMS’s Zones Of Influence (ZOI). Therefore, the project received a nine-month Extension with the aim of mitigating the effects of the Ukrainian War in Kenya by cushioning smallholder farmers from macroeconomic shocks related to the global fertilizer shortage while improving investments in agricultural capacity and resilience. As a result, the project’s second phase began in December 2022, allowing KCDMS to continue its critical work towards a more sustainable agricultural future for Kenya.
The East Africa Market Development Associates (EAMDA) has been playing a significant role in the Feed the Future Kenya Crops and Dairy Market Systems (KCDMS) Activity. Under the KCDMS program, EAMDA leads the market systems component and is doing some amazing work in the agricultural sector in Kenya. Let’s take a closer look at their activity under each component of the second phase of the KCDMS project.
Avocado Sector Support:
EAMDA is working on building the capacity of an existing Avocado Association. They’re supporting the development of the Association’s Strategic Plan and Communications Strategy alongside the development and launch of the association’s website. Additionally, EAMDA is conducting an assessment of avocado seedlings’ success rate, whose findings will be presented by the Avocado Society of Kenya (ASOK) with the aim of spurring investment in the avocado value chain.
EAMDA is conducting a market study on increasing investments in agricultural capacity and resilience in avocado value addition and job creation opportunities which is aimed at reducing food loss through value-addition options. Under this component, EAMDA will also develop an Avocado Production Business case package which will inform future investment in the value chain even beyond the life of the project.
Fertilizer Supply Chain Support:
EAMDA is facilitating fertilizer supply chain support through business-to-business meetings in KCDMS’ ZOI. They’re also working with agro dealer associations and FIPS Africa to assess, document, and share the success of demonstration plots to encourage fertilizer adoption among farmers and ultimately improve their yields, incomes, and food security. The documentation and sharing of this information will also serve as a resource for future agricultural extension activities. Additionally, EAMDA is conducting a capacity assessment of agro-dealer associations in eight counties and developing an Agro dealer SACCO road map for the associations.
Eastern Region Support:
In the eastern region, EAMDA is enhancing food and income security through quality seed production, layering with Agri nutrition by improving productivity, and marketing of improved indigenous chicken by supporting branding advertisements to create awareness of certified seed. They’re supporting the development of business plans and marketing strategies for several grantees under the project.
EAMDA’s work is making a significant impact on the agricultural market systems in Kenya. The extension of the program is a testament to the effectiveness of the interventions in strengthening market systems and private sector engagement with self-reliant rural households. With their continued dedication and hard work, EAMDA is poised to make even more significant strides towards improving food security and reducing poverty in Kenya.