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.