AfDB supports small-scale irrigation in Kenya’s rural communities

23/11/2015
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In its bid to bolster Africa’s ability to feed itself, the African Development Bank (AfDB) is targeting rural communities with interventions to improve yields, incomes and nutrition practices.

The AfDB Board of Directors met on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 in Abidjan and approved a US $39.55-million loan and a US $24-million grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) to Kenya to finance the Small Scale Irrigation and Value Addition Project (SIVAP).

The project focuses on poverty reduction by enhancing agricultural productivity and income, and food security among beneficiaries.

The program is aligned with Kenya’s Medium Term Plan (MTP-II 2013-17) to modernize its agriculture as well as promote improved household welfare and increased income levels. The project focuses on scaling up the country’s successful Small Scale Horticulture Development Project, which raised incomes to as high as US $18,000 per hectare.

Anchored on infrastructure development, value addition and capacity building, and on smallholder farmers, women and youth, the project is in line with the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy 2013-2022, especially its twin strategic objectives of inclusive growth and transition towards green growth.

The expected deliverables include 3,767 ha brought under irrigation in 12 schemes for 104,000 direct and indirect household beneficiaries (58% women), with each under a scheme management entity; 250,000 m3 volume of water stored; 1,500 ha of pasture/feed/rangeland established; 120 livelihood groups formed (beekeeping, poultry keeping, etc.); 20 marketable commodities grown; 11 agro-market centres constructed; 77 training on nutrition practices, gender sensitization and seed multiplications carried out; and 33 enterprises’ development training undertaken.

Presenting the project to the Board, AfDB’s Agriculture and Agro-Industry Director Chiji Ojukwu said the fund would contribute to the achievements of the core Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of reducing poverty, hunger and undernourishment, and promoting gender equality and empowerment of women through their involvement in project activities.

“In terms of the Feed Africa concept, the project will increase yields of high-value horticultural crops such as green maize, French beans, onions, tomatoes and water melons, and livestock products from poultry, sheep, goats and cattle for sale and household consumption. Post-harvest losses are expected to be halved from 40% to 20%, thereby increasing agricultural output available for consumption and market,” he said.