In Kenya, agriculture is key to overall economic growth and development, to poverty alleviation and food and nutrition security which remains an important challenge. Nearly half of Kenya’s 43 million people live below the poverty line and although prevalence of undernourishment has declined in the last 20 years it was still estimated as high as 30% in 2011. In addition, today agriculture must not only feed a growing population and is the main income sector for the poor, but must at the same time contribute to the sustainable management and conservation of vital natural resources such as land and water. Hence, in the national development agenda, the agricultural sector has been identified in various government policy documents to play a major role but the elaboration and implementation of adequate policies is a real challenge due to the complexity and interconnectedness of the issues.
It is in this respect that the project ‘Changing Course in Global Agriculture Kenya’ further developed an integrated and dynamic planning tool, called the T21-Kenya model, to test and analyse different policy options, and to explore systematically their consequences on social, economic and environmental development in order to inform effective, comprehensive and long-term policies. The ultimate goal of the project is to enhance the capacity of authorities and other stakeholders to develop appropriate long term policies to achieve food and nutrition security, economic growth, rural wellbeing and environmental stability. Up to now, the following could be achieved:
- Substantial expansion of the model on issues related to agriculture, rural poverty, and food and nutrition security: it was guided and informed by the input of representatives from relevant stakeholder groups such as government ministries/departments, research institutions, development partners, private sector, NGOs and farmers, gathered during two multi-stakeholder workshops held in February and July 2013
- Elaboration of a first policy analysis: using the extended T21-Kenya model different scenarios were analysed. The results were presented and discussed in September 2014 in the context of a high level multi-stakeholder workshop in Nairobi and the technical report with the model finding was launched and is now available for distribution.
- Elaboration of a User Interface: the User Interface of the model allows also non-technical people to simulate policy scenarios and to analyse their impact. Stakeholders attending the multi-stakeholder workshop in September were introduce to its use.
- Capacity Building: the project involved the training of national experts in order to enable them to use, adapt and further develop the model and to respond to further questions from the government and other stakeholders.
- Institutionalization: it is planned to set up a permanent unit to support modelling activities and to establish a Technical Advisory Group with the purpose to set up a multi-stakeholder group supporting the planning process and implementation of the CCKA project at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.
The ultimate goal of the project is to support the definition of effective and comprehensive national policies and agricultural strategies to achieve food and nutrition security, economic growth and environmental stability. To ensure the ongoing and regular use of the model to inform policies, the following steps are needed:
- Awareness raising about the scenario results / model findings
- Review and realign policies to the model findings
- Setting up a permanent unit to support modelling activities and a Technical Advisory Group at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries that should facilitate the ongoing use of the model and the elaboration of scenarios
- Further Capacity Building for the national experts on the use of the model