AfDB lends Kenya cash for value addition
NAIROBI, KENYA – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $39.55 million loan and a $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).
This is in a bid to bolster Africa’s ability to feed itself. “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,” Chiji Ojukwu, the bank’s Agriculture and Agro-Industry Director said last week.
The project focuses on poverty reduction by enhancing agricultural productivity and income, and food security among beneficiaries. The fund is targeted at rural communities with interventions to improve yields, incomes and nutrition practices.
It is aligned with Kenya’s Medium Term Plan (MTP-II 2013-17) which is meant to modernise agriculture as well as promote improved household welfare and increased income levels.
According to AfDB officials, the project focuses on scaling up the country’s successful Small Scale Horticulture Development Project, which raised incomes to as high as $18,000 per hectare (ha).
Presenting the project to AfDB’s board for approval, Ojukwu said the money 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. The project, he said is anchored on infrastructure development, value addition and capacity building, and on smallholder farmers, women and youth.
He said the project is in line with the bank’s 10 year strategy from 2013-2022, especially its twin strategic objectives of inclusive growth and transition towards green growth.
The funds will be channeled towards implementation of 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 square metre volume of water stored; 1,500 ha of pasture/feed/rangeland established.
The funds will also help 120 livelihood groups formed who have invested in beekeeping, poultry keeping as well as help 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.