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ROME, March 19 -- The United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development issued the following news release:
Government of Kenya is partnering with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the European Union (EU) and Equity Bank to finance the Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme (KCEP).
This US$30.1 million programme is co-financed by the Government of Kenya (Euro 2.4 million), the beneficiaries (Euro 3.6 million), European Union which will provide Euro 17.6 million as grant, the private sector contributing Euro 3.6 million and Equity Bank contributing Euro 2.9 million and also supplying equipment and technology to build the capacity of smallholder farmers allowing them to link up to financial services.
"With its innovative private-public-partnerships and potential positive impact on food security and income generation for smallholder farmers, KCEP is a flagship initiative" said Nadine Gbossa.
The financing agreement was signed today in Nairobi by Henry K. Rotich, Cabinet Secretary of the National Treasury of Kenya, and Nadine Gbossa, Head of IFAD Regional Office in Nairobi and Country Director for Kenya.
Kenya is a food deficit country. Even in a good harvest year, the country must import up to 20% of its annual cereal requirements and poverty is also related to food insecurity.
The KCEP will contribute to national food security by targeting three main cereals -maize, sorghum and millet- which are both traditional staple food and hold important marketing potential based on the demand.
The programme will support smallholder farmers to increase productivity and profitability of these crops through adoption of value-added agricultural practices: improved seed varieties, adequate fertilizer use and soil and water management; better processing and storage for reduction of post-harvest losses, linkages to markets, and access to formal credit and risk management options.
Implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture of Kenya and under the supervision of IFAD, over 100,000 households will benefit from KCEP and it is estimated the country grain deficit could be reduced by 45,000 tons equivalent to 10%. Particular attention will be paid to women headed households and the youth given the specific constraints they face to access agricultural services. The programme will introduce the electronic scheme to improve farmers' access to agricultural inputs within the value chain approach. Equity Bank will also set up such electronic voucher scheme linked to inclusive financial services for the smallholder farmers.
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, benefiting over 4,200,000 households.
TNS 30FurigayJane-140120-4673479 30FurigayJane