Since the organization initiated its first project in the country in 1980, IFAD has provided a total of US$ 127.2 million in financing for seven loans and three grants for programmes and projects with a total cost of US$249.8 million.
Operations were suspended during the civil war, and started up again after the war ended in 2002. At that time IFAD and the African Development Bank (AfDB) established a joint programme coordination unit (JPPCU) to facilitate management and increase cost effectiveness of operations in agriculture and the rural sector.
The IFAD portfolio in Sierra Leone currently comprises two projects:
- the ongoing Rehabilitation and Community-based Poverty Reduction Project (RCPRP) which is twinned with an AfDB project (the Agricultural Sector Rehabilitation Project (ASREP)
- the Rural Finance and Community Improvement Project (RFCIP), which was approved in 2007. Through IFAD's debt sustainability framework the organization has provided US$10.0 million in grant assistance to Sierra Leone to support the RFCIP. IFAD intends to introduce the financial services associations (FSA) model in Sierra Leone through the RFCIP. An ongoing FSA pilot project, launched in 2007, is laying groundwork for the establishment of the 30 FSAs to be created under the RFCIP.
- the Smallholder Commercialization Programme - under the Global Agricultural Food Security Programme (SCP-GAFSP), which was launched in 2011
IFAD'strategy in the country
The country strategic opportunities programme (COSOP) for Sierra Leone for 2010-2015 will continue to support the Government's rural poverty reduction goals, which are closely aligned with the Millennium Development Goals and foster agriculture as the ‘engine' of socio-economic growth. This COSOP is also fully aligned with the second poverty reduction strategy paper and the new National Sustainable Agricultural Development Plan 2010-2030 launched in October 2009.
IFAD's strategy focuses on three main areas:
- support to agriculture –smallholder farmers' access to irrigation, technical skills and market is improved;
- support to rural finance – the rural poor have access to reliable and sustainable financial services (savings, credit, transfers, remittances);
- support to local development – the rural poor increase their level of participation in the management of local decentralized institutions.
| Living up to the challenge of creating market linkages in Mozambique |
Trying to create a profitable agricultural market where smallholder farmers were previously involved in subsistence farming is a very difficult task and sometimes an uphill struggle. In Mozambique, the Programme for the Promotion of Rural Markets (Programma de Promoçao de Mercados Rurais-PROMER) supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the government of Mozambique have taken up the challenge and is showing very encouraging results.
| Literacy Programme empowers farmers to sell at market |
In northern Mozambique, the Programme for the Promotion of Rural Markets (Programa de Promoçao de Mercados Rurais-PROMER) has become very popular with local farmers communities thanks to a literacy programme it introduced to empower them to better sell at market and negotiate trade contracts.
| Community Radio reaching out to small scale farmers in Mozambique |
Local radio stations can be a powerful means of communication, particularly to smallholder farmers located in remote rural places. When listening to the radio, they feel connected to the rest of the world and become better informed. In northern Mozambique, the Programme for the Promotion of Rural Markets (Programa de Promoçao de Mercados Rurais-PROMER), supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the government of Mozambique, is using community radio stations as a creative way to disseminate market price and product information.
This project is designed as a post-crisis intervention to support rehabilitation of the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, which have been weakened by the civil conflict. The project works to restore the productive assets of farmers and farmers' groups, and rehabilitate or build essential infrastructure to support food production, marketing and processing activities.
Through PRAREP, IFAD provides kits containing tools, seeds and other inputs to poor small-scale farmers. At the same time, the West African Development Bank finances activities to rebuild rural infrastructure, improve the access of smallholders to technologies and markets, and improve household food security. The target group comprises the poorest and most vulnerable sectors of the population – particularly women, young people and those affected by the war. The project covers three administrative districts in the north-east: Bandama Valley, Savanes and Zanzan.
This project intervenes in a post-crisis context with the aim of moving from a situation of urgency to a more sustainable medium-term development strategy. It places emphasis on:
- Rehabilitation, development and sustainability of productive infrastructure
- Post-harvest activities (storage, processing and marketing)
- Strengthening the organizational, functional and economic capacity of producer organizations.
PROPACOM supports the development of selected value chains in the food and horticulture sectors as the primary means of creating wealth, improving rural incomes and reinforcing the food security of smallholder producers. It intervenes in three regions: Bandama Valley, Savanes and Zanzana.
The project's priority target group is composed of rural people who are living in poverty or facing food insecurity but are able to take advantage of economic opportunities. Within this group, the focus is on women and girls, young rural producers, unemployed young people and ex-combatants who are demobilized, disarmed and interested in working and investing in the agricultural sector. Grassroots and apex producer organizations serve as an initial entry point for project intervention, which is aimed at strengthening their structures and enabling them to provide needed economic services to their members.
PROPACOM shares a project coordinating unit with the Agricultural Rehabilitation and Poverty Reduction Project. A new intervention is being designed to extend this project to the west and north-west regions.
Since 1984, IFAD has invested US$99.2 million in nine programmes and projects in Côte d'Ivoire with a total value of US$257.6 million. The Agricultural Rehabilitation and Poverty Reduction Project and the Support to Agricultural Production and Marketing Project are both ongoing. They became effective in 2009 and 2012, respectively.
The Small Horticultural Producer Support Project became effective in 2001 but was frozen for a number of years because of civil unrest. It was the first thematic initiative supported by IFAD on small irrigation related primarily to vegetable production and marketing in West Africa. The project closed in 2012.
The Rural Development Project in the Zanzan Region included support for irrigation and micro-irrigation infrastructure, roads and a network of credit and savings cooperatives targeting mainly women in the country's north-east. It became effective in 1999 and closed in 2005.
The Marketing and Local Initiatives Support Project worked to achieve a sustainable increase in cash income for farmers in the centre-north, with the aim of improving the living standards of women and poor households. It became effective in 1997 and closed in 2007. The National Agricultural Services Restructuring Project was initiated by and cofinanced with the World Bank. It focused on the promotion of informal and formal groups of farmers in the savannah zone. The project became effective in 1994 and closed in 1999.
The Dabakala/Katiola Rural Development Project, which became effective 1987, was cofinanced with the African Development Bank and implemented by Côte d'Ivoire's cotton parastatal, the Ivorian Company for Textile Development. The project focused on agricultural and infrastructure development. The Rural Development Project in the North-East, which became effective in 1992, worked to increase the productivity and incomes of the poorest smallholders through a combination of support for food crop development and livestock production. These projects closed in 1996 and 1998, respectively.
The first IFAD-funded project in the country was the Artisanal Fisheries Development Project in the Aby Lagoon, which became effective in 1985 and closed in 1993. The project's objective was to help fishing communities manage the lagoon's overexploited fish resources. It encouraged community participation in activities that led to improved navigation conditions, better marketing and improved access to public health facilities.
In 2008, in collaboration with the government, IFAD started to prepare a country strategic opportunities programme (COSOP) for Côte d'Ivoire. The government's approval of its PRSP early in 2009 was IFAD's cue to proceed with finalization of the COSOP, which was submitted to the September 2010 Executive Board.
The aim of IFAD's country programme is to reduce poverty by promoting household food security on a daily basis. The organization works to:
- Stabilize households' access to food across seasons and despite shortages
- Support activities to sustain access to food in the long term
- Address issues of well-being within rural households, including health, sanitation and nutrition.
IFAD-funded programmes and projects in Côte d'Ivoire support farmers' organizations in order to improve marketing of agricultural products, with a focus on rural finance, technology development and transfer, and rural infrastructure. IFAD works in close partnership with the government, and its main counterpart is the Ministry of Agriculture – specifically, the Ministry's Directorate for Programming. In addition, IFAD has developed longstanding alliances in the country with the World Bank and the West African Development Bank.
In January 2009, the government approved a Poverty Reduction Strategy Programme (PRSP) that was prepared in collaboration with all stakeholders. The strategy document outlines the government's aims, which include:
- Consolidating peace and the security of persons and property, and promoting good governance
- Creating a healthier macroeconomic framework
- Creating employment and wealth by supporting the agricultural sector and promoting the private sector as an engine of growth
- Improving the accessibility and quality of basic social services, protecting the environment and promoting gender equality and social protection
- Achieving decentralization as a means of fostering people's participation in the development process and reducing regional inequalities
- Aligning with the international and regional development context.
Following the recent upsurge in food prices, the government formulated a food production improvement strategy aimed at better ensuring household food security by promoting the production of rice, cassava and yams.
The 1992-2015 Agricultural Development Direction Programme governs the country's agricultural sector strategy. An evaluation of the programme in 2008 reconfirmed the pertinence of its objectives nearly 20 years after its design.
In the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, a coastal country with a northern savannah and forests in the south, rural poverty has traditionally been significantly higher in the north. In the northern zone, smallholder farmers produce cereal, cotton and livestock, while export crops such as cocoa are produced in the forest areas in the south. In fact, Côte d'Ivoire is the world's leading cocoa producer. Yet poverty is growing in forest zones in the south as a result of the volatility of world prices for coffee and cocoa in recent years.
Côte d'Ivoire is a low-income country. It registered a marked increase in the incidence of poverty in the second half of the 1980s and the early 1990s, when the income gap widened and the concentration of poverty in rural areas became evident. The civil war that broke out in 2002 disrupted the economic, social and political fabric of the country. Thousands of people were killed, and hundreds of thousands were displaced. The conflict severely affected poor people in rural areas, who have suffered a decline in their living standards.
Most of the country's poor people are small-scale farmers. Those who have little or no access to land are among the poorest, and young people and women are particularly vulnerable. Women have limited or no decision-making power over the allocation of land, and they are dependent on men for access to it. Yet gaining access to land is crucial for women because their livelihoods depend largely on the production of food crops.
There is a high incidence of poverty in the north, where the potential for agriculture has not yet been realized. Increasingly, poverty and food insecurity are also affecting the forest zones in the south.
Lack of access to land is a major cause of rural poverty. Small-scale producers of food crops have access to about half the amount of land available to large-scale producers of export crops. Education levels among food crop producers are low, and their access to technology is limited. In zones where population pressure and environmental degradation have reduced overall access to productive land, women are generally the first to feel the negative effects.
Côte d'Ivoire has one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in West Africa. The government has established a ministry to lead the fight against AIDS. A wide range of national and international initiatives focus on HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention and testing. The collapse of public health facilities in the north, as a result of years of conflict, has made the situation worse.
The ATAAS Programme was designed to build on the accomplishments of the IFAD-cofinanced National Agricultural Advisory Services Programme (NAADS). Its objective is to increase the agricultural productivity and incomes of participating households by improving the performance of agricultural research and advisory services. At the same time, it seeks to enhance environmental sustainability and resilience to climate risks and land degradation.
The programme aims at promoting public-private partnerships in service delivery and agribusiness development, and at strengthening the institutional capacity of the National Agricultural Research Organization and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries. It also builds the organizational capacity of poor people, develops human and social assets, and supports economic activities.
ATAAS encourages private-sector operators to play a greater role in agricultural development and poverty alleviation, which is in line with IFAD's Private-Sector Development and Partnership Strategy. Furthermore, consistent with the IFAD climate change strategy, the programme is introducing technologies for sustainable land management to help farmers cope with risks associated with climate change.
In terms of development innovations, the ATAAS Programme will continue to promote the provision of advisory services on a demand-driven basis – with direct linkages to private-sector operators – as well as introduce and scale up sustainable land management practices to prevent or arrest the degradation of agricultural landscapes.
An estimated 20 per cent of Uganda's farmers have benefited from the advisory services provided under NAADS. The ATAAS Programme aims to expand outreach to 40-50 per cent of Ugandan farmers, or about 1.7 million households. It is supervised by the World Bank on behalf of IFAD.
This project aims at increasing the domestic production of vegetable oil and its byproducts, thus raising rural incomes for smallholder producers and ensuring the supply of affordable vegetable oil products to Ugandan consumers. To that end, the project is helping farmers increase their production of crushing material (both oil palm and oilseeds) and establish commercial relations to link them directly to processors.
The project is in line with the government's National Development Plan and the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme. IFAD's interim evaluation of the project's first phase highlighted its success in introducing oil palm and promoting sunflower production to reduce dependency on imports. The second phase continues the partnership with Oil Palm Uganda Limited to further promote small-scale growers. The project has demonstrated how it is possible to leverage private-sector investments through strategic use of IFAD funds.
Project activities focus on oilseed development around four hubs (Lira, Eastern Uganda, Gulu and West Nile) covering 43 districts. Oil palm activities are carried out on Bugula Island in Kalangala District (Ssesse islands) and Buvuma Island in Mukono District. In the course of the project, about 3,000 smallholder farmers will directly benefit from oil palm development and 136,000 households from oilseed development. The project is directly supervised by IFAD.
Project for Financial Inclusion in Rural Areas
The goal of this project is to sustainably increase access to, and use of, financial services by the rural population in the target area. Specifically, it will focus on:
- Rural women, men and young people who earn income but do not have access to financial services
- Members of mature community-based savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs) who have successfully saved and borrowed within their groups for at least three years but do not use formal financial institutions
- Women and men who belong to rural savings and credit cooperatives that are not yet operationally self-sustaining but have the potential to become sustainable.
IFAD has developed a close partnership with the Government of Uganda thanks to its involvement in the rural financial sector under the Rural Financial Services Programme, now completed. PROFIRA will build on lessons learned under that programme, consolidating the gains made and supporting selected SACCOs in achieving sustainability. It will also scale up community-based savings and credit groups to ensure inclusion of communities that are currently not served by financial service providers.
IFAD in Uganda
For over 30 years, IFAD has been strongly committed to rural poverty reduction in Uganda. Since 1982, the organization has contributed approximately US$300 million in loans on highly concessional terms to finance 14 programmes and projects with the objective of empowering poor people and improving food security in the country's rural areas. It has also made US$21 million in grants. IFAD is currently providing financing and technical assistance for five ongoing operations.
- As part of the donor effort to improve international development effectiveness, IFAD has identified three strategic objectives for its investments in Uganda:
- Sustainably increasing the production, productivity and climate resilience of smallholder agriculture
- Enhancing the integration of smallholders into markets, with a focus on consolidating and scaling up investment in the vegetable oil subsector
- Expanding the rural population's access to, and use of, financial services, with emphasis on community-based financial institutions.
In the context of donor harmonization, IFAD works with development partners that are active in these sectors. In the agricultural sector, IFAD is one of 15 donors that signed on to the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme, and it is an active member of the Agricultural Development Partners Group. In addition, IFAD is working with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to support smallholder farming through the Agricultural Technology and Agribusiness Advisory Services (ATAAS) Programme – cofinanced with the World Bank – and through a second phase of the Vegetable Oil Development Project.
Under the leadership of the Ministry of Local Government, IFAD is supporting decentralized governance through the District Livelihoods Support Programme (DLSP) and the Community Agricultural Infrastructure Improvement Programme, cofinanced with the African Development Bank. In the area of rural financial services, IFAD is working with the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to support the rural finance sector through the Rural Financial Services Programme.
To increase its effectiveness at the field level, IFAD established a country field presence in Uganda in 2006. Thanks to this arrangement, the organization participates in donor working groups and contributes to policy dialogue in key sectors, including the following.
Improving smallholder agriculture
Agriculture is one of the mainstays of the Ugandan economy. Under the umbrella of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, the IFAD-supported ATAAS Programme finances agricultural research and provides agricultural advisory services to poor farmers. It does so within the framework of the government's Development Sector Investment Plan, building upon the experience of the now completed National Agricultural Advisory Services Programme. To help farmers move into commercial agricultural production, the ATAAS Programme supports increased productivity through the adoption of appropriate techniques. The programme also promotes the creation of employment and diversified production, and works to reduce dependence on imports through competitive processing, marketing, input supply and credit systems.
Integrating smallholders into markets
IFAD's ongoing Vegetable Oil Development Project, currently in its second phase, supports national production of edible oils. Under the project's Oil Palm Component, an innovative public-private partnership with a private-sector investor has supported the establishment of processing capacity and oil palm plantations. These plantations – including both small growers' and estate operations – generate employment and increase rural incomes in the target area.
Through a trust that includes smallholder farmer representatives on its board, the project provides farmers with a guaranteed market at a value tied to the world price. The project's Oil Seeds Component supports the use of improved seed varieties and strengthens linkages between farmers and local millers.
At the same time, IFAD contributes to rural development and market access in Uganda by supporting key economic infrastructure and empowering poor people and their local institutions. It does so under the leadership of the Ministry of Local Government, through the recently completed Community Agricultural Infrastructure Improvement Programme and the ongoing DLSP.
Building community-based rural financial services
In partnership with the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, IFAD invests in ensuring financial inclusion for the poorest segments of the rural population. Rural finance is a crucial component of the transition from subsistence to commercial farming. The recently completed Rural Financial Services Programme worked to expand rural financial services, building the capacity of local communities to both mobilize savings and provide loans on a sustainable basis. Through the programme, IFAD has supported rural finance outreach and sustainability through local, member-owned savings and credit cooperatives.
The new Project for Financial Inclusion in Rural Areas is currently in the last stages of the parliamentary approval process. It will continue this work and invest in other community-based mechanisms to ensure financial inclusion.
Rural poverty approaches, policies and strategies in Uganda
The Government of Uganda looks to the agricultural sector to drive growth and contribute to further reducing rural poverty. Employing as much as 75 per cent of the total labour force, the sector has potential for vibrant and diversified growth. But agricultural development faces several challenges, foremost among them infrastructure and access to markets. Because Uganda is landlocked, international and regional exports and imports involve long overland hauls through neighbouring countries to and from distant seaports, while poor internal road linkages hinder domestic marketing. There is a need to improve the country's transport infrastructure, particularly rural access roads and the national road network.
The government addresses rural poverty through its National Development Plan (NDP), a comprehensive policy aimed at guiding development planning. The objectives of the policy are to:
- Give priority to the agricultural sector for increasing economic growth
- Support private-public partnerships across a range of investment and service sectors
- Promote efficiency gains and improve revenue generation and collection
- Develop infrastructure.
Launched in 2009 to transform Uganda into a modern, prosperous country within 30 years, the NDP recognizes the need for a development framework that will attract private investment and promote competitiveness within a liberal and open economy. The government has developed a new agricultural sector policy, with plans for supporting investments, as part of its Development Sector Investment Plan. The plan's vision is to achieve a competitive, profitable and sustainable agricultural sector with the overall aim of transforming subsistence farming into commercial agriculture.
To ensure consistency and national ownership, the government takes the lead in launching development initiatives, while development partners provide technical and financial support. The international drive for increased development effectiveness and impact has shaped the way Uganda's partners work in the country. It has also led to intensified coordination and harmonization, and to a division of labour among partners whereby each donor focuses on a limited number of sectors.
Rural poverty in Uganda
Uganda has made enormous progress in reducing poverty, slashing the countrywide incidence from 56 per cent of the population in 1992 to 24.5 per cent in 2009. The reduction of poverty in urban areas has been especially marked. Notwithstanding these gains, however, the absolute number of poor people has increased due to population growth. And poverty remains firmly entrenched in rural areas, which are home to 84 per cent of Ugandans.
About 27 per cent of all rural people – some 8 million men, women and children – still live below the national rural poverty line. Uganda's poorest people include hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers living in remote areas scattered throughout the country. Remoteness makes people poor inasmuch as it prevents them from benefiting from Uganda's steady economic growth and dynamic modernization.
In remote rural areas, smallholder farmers do not have access to the vehicles and roads they need to transport their produce, and market linkages are weak or non-existent. These farmers lack inputs and technology to help them increase their production and reduce pests and disease. They also lack access to financial services, which would enable them to boost their incomes – both by improving and expanding their production, and by establishing small enterprises.
The poorest areas of the country are in the north, where poverty incidence is consistently above 40 per cent and exceeds 60 per cent in many districts – and where outbreaks of civil strife have disrupted farmers' lives and agricultural production. The greatest number of poor people is found in the east, where the population density in poor areas is 8 to 10 times higher than in the north, although poverty incidence is generally lower, at 30 to 40 per cent.
The vast majority of Uganda's poor rural people live in fragile, dry and sub-humid regions where the variability of rainfall and soil fertility means that farming presents a challenge. Household-level production often falls short of minimum household needs, rendering families particularly vulnerable to food insecurity. This problem is exacerbated by climate change and a resulting increase in the variability and amount of rainfall, as well as extreme climate events. Uganda is considered one of the world's most vulnerable and least climate-resilient countries. Changing climate patterns, such as increased droughts, floods and variable precipitation cycles, have a serious impact upon water and other natural resources, agricultural production and rural livelihoods.
Health and social issues significantly affect rural poverty in Uganda as well. The population of about 36 million is growing at an annual rate of 3.4 per cent. Although the country has dramatically reduced the incidence of HIV/AIDS since the 1990s, prevalence rates have begun rising again in recent years. The pandemic has caused the death of large numbers of young adults and orphaned up to 1.2 million children.
The lack of health care and other social services puts rural women at a particular disadvantage. They work far longer hours than men, have limited access to resources and lack control over what they produce. Among their many other tasks, they also bear the double burden of ensuring that their households are adequately fed and caring for the sick, the elderly, and for orphaned children.
In 2012, Uganda ranked 161st among 187 countries on the United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Index, in the Low Human Development category.
Smallholder Dairy Commercialization Programme
This programme fosters market-driven development of Kenya's informal dairy industry, working with poor smallholder dairy producers and traders to strengthen their capacity to respond to market opportunities. It builds understanding of the market and technical knowledge of production processes, and improves organizational and enterprise skills.
The informal sector is the dominant force in milk trading in Kenya. About 75 per cent of traded milk is sold outside the processing sector, both because consumers prefer unprocessed milk and because of inefficiencies in formal trading.
At least 800,000 smallholder farmers in Kenya depend on dairy farming for their livelihood. Dairy production improves household nutrition and provides extra income. In addition to family labour, dairy farming generates jobs in wage labour and mobile milk trading for a further 365,000 people. These jobs benefit the poorest people in urban and rural areas.
Smallholder Horticulture Marketing Programme
This programme aims to improve farm productivity and incomes, and the health and welfare of rural Kenyans, by increasing the quality and consumption of fruit and vegetables. The programme covers 8 of Kenya's 35 horticultural districts and was designed as a pilot initiative for possible replication throughout the country. It targets poor rural households and unemployed and underemployed people in areas of Kenya where horticulture is an important source of income, as many poor small-scale farmers in these areas sell a portion of their output on the domestic market.
The programme invests in value chains and market infrastructure in order to improve the supply of inputs and the functioning of marketing chains. It also seeks to build the capacity of private-sector service providers, government institutions and farmers' organizations.
The goal of this programme is to contribute to the reform of financial sector policy in Kenya. It supports the development of a range of innovative financial products – such as savings and remittance services, community infrastructure loans, value-chain financing, medium-term financing for the agriculture sector, and index-based insurance and health insurance – and improves the access of poor rural households to these services. It also helps programme participants manage their assets, market their produce and increase their employment opportunities.
PROFIT works throughout Kenya's rural areas, especially in arid and semi-arid zones and areas with both agricultural potential and a high incidence of poverty. It reaches out to smallholder farmers, pastoralists, artisanal fishers, women, landless labourers and young people. The programme's goal is to increase the incomes of the target group by improving the productivity of rural smallholder farm and off-farm sectors.
Upper Tana Catchment Natural Resources Management Project
The goal of this project is to contribute to the reduction of rural poverty in the Upper Tana River catchment through increased sustainable food production and incomes for poor rural households, as well as sustainable management of natural resources.
The project has three main components:
- Empowering communities to sustainably manage natural resources by building their capacity to develop resource management plans while also improving their livelihoods
- Sustainably improving the incomes and living standards of the target group through interventions that are beneficial to the management of the natural resource base
- Improving the sustainable management and use of water and other natural resources.
The target area for the project is the Upper Tana catchment, covering 6 of Kenya's 47 counties. Around 205,000 poor rural households – including smallholder crop and livestock farmers, agro-pastoralists, fishers and rural traders – are expected to benefit from the initiative, which features a special focus on women, young people and other vulnerable groups.
IFAD in Kenya
Since 1979, IFAD has invested a total of US$247.5 million in 16 programmes and projects in Kenya, with a total cost of US$495.7 million, in support of the government's efforts to reduce rural poverty. IFAD has also mobilized cofinancing from numerous donors, the Government of Kenya and project participants themselves.
The country strategic opportunities programme (COSOP) for 2013-2018, developed jointly by the Government of Kenya and IFAD, has three strategic objectives:
- Improved natural resource management that is gender-responsive, climate-resilient, sustainable and community-based
- Improved access to productivity-enhancing assets, technologies and services for vulnerable rural women, men and young people in target areas
- Enhanced, sustainable access to markets for smallholder farmers, agropastoralists and rural entrepreneurs.
In the past, IFAD's interventions have concentrated on rural areas with medium to high productive potential, where most of Kenya's poor people live. Under the new COSOP, IFAD is extending its support to the country's arid and semi-arid lands. This shift supports the government's commitment to improve small-scale irrigation, extension services, marketing and access to financial services in areas that are characterized by low development indicators and high poverty rates.
Moreover, explicit and transparent targeting – based on poverty data from Kenya's National Bureau of Statistics and criteria gathered at the district level to identify poor communities and vulnerable groups – is a feature of all new and ongoing IFAD-financed projects. The current country programme emphasizes a market-oriented approach in the sectors of domestic horticulture, dairy production, main cereal commodities and rural finance.
The overarching goal of IFAD's development partnership with Kenya is to empower poor rural people to achieve higher incomes and improved food security. IFAD, the government and other partners and donors continually work to balance competing development priorities and focus on integrating smallholder producers into vibrant national, regional and global markets for agricultural goods.
In addition, IFAD supports government efforts to harmonize donor activities in Kenya. In collaboration with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, for example, it has promoted a demand-driven approach to agricultural extension designed to help poor and vulnerable households. IFAD has also worked with the United Nations Environment Programme on securing grant funds from the Global Environment Facility to address problems of human/wildlife conflict in the high-potential Mount Kenya agricultural area.