Monthly Updates from Kenya Markets Trust

June 2016



Enhancing Trade and Investments

Kenya Markets Trust joined a Kenyan delegation to Dublin, to attend the fifth Africa Ireland Economic Forum. The forum brought together over 300 participants representing business, government, policy makers and civil society. 

The forum highlighted the close cooperation between government and business, with a sectorial focus on agri-business, energy/clean-tech, among other sectors. These sectors were chosen because of their significant potential to contribute to lasting economic development in Africa and because of particular Irish expertise in the areas.

The Kenyan delegation comprised of The PS for Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Chris Kiptoo, The KenInvest Managing Director, Dr. Moses Ikiara, Ms Lucy Muchoki of Kenya Agribusiness and Agri-industry Alliance, KMT Dairy sector Lead, Dr. Chris Silali, representatives from the Kenya Private Sector Association (KEPSA), Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Milk and Meat Processors, among other businesses.

Speaking at the forum, Dr Chris Kiptoo said:

“I am delighted to have led a delegation of Kenyan businesses and business representative organisations to participate in the Africa Ireland Economic Forum this week. We see huge potential to deepen trade and investment relations between Ireland and Kenya, and have been focusing in particular on commercial opportunities in the agri-food sector. I am aware that two-way trade between Ireland and Kenya has been developing strongly – 122% growth from 2014 to 2015 – and we look forward to growing this further.”

Read more about this visit here.

Pictured above: Part of the Kenyan delegation that attended the 2016 Africa Ireland Economic Forum

Bio-pesticides for Increased Productivity

Kenya Markets Trust is promoting the adoption of bio-pesticides by smallholder farmers to advance climate-smart agricultural practices and safe use of pesticides to enhance compliance with food safety standards. This will increase incomes and food security in the country. Our entry point has been in the horticulture sub-sector, which is a key foreign exchange earner in Kenya.

Agriculture accounts for 65% of the total export earnings in Kenya with horticulture being the largest agricultural sub-sector contributing about 33% of the Agricultural GDP and 38% of export earnings

Despite this critical importance, farmers are increasingly facing resistance to pesticides, an important factor of production. At the same time, export markets continue to increase standards regulating chemical residue levels. This has led to the ban of commonly used pesticides or severe restriction of their use.

The ban has resulted in high incidences of rejection of horticultural produce in the export market due to noncompliance to set standards for many smallholder farmers groups which produce most of the vegetables and fruit marketed for export. Household incomes have in turn negatively affected the entire economy.

We have partnered with Dudutech, a subsidiary of the Finlays Group, to make bio-peticide products available to commercial horticulture smallholder farmers by facilitating linkages with distributors and their network of rural stockists.

Find out more here.

Pictured above: Dudutech farmer field day in Meru. 

Access to Safe Drinking Water

The right to clean and safe drinking water is enshrined in the article 43 of the 2010 Kenyan constitution.  The human right to water entitles everyone to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use. However, according to the Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB) Impact report 8, only 55% of the Kenyan population have access to clean and safe drinking water due to lack of adequate water sources coupled with gross inefficiencies in water service provision.
The 2010 Kenyan constitution has devolved the responsibility for water asset management and supply from the water boards to the county governments. This change necessitates market actors from both the private and public sectors to take steps to equip the county governments with the information and skills they require to effectively deliver water.
KMT in partnership with SNV has been implementing an innovative service delivery model to revitalize functionality of 5 rural water utilities in the Western region. This work enabled an additional 74,646 people to gain access to water. Due to this success, we are scaling the innovative model to additional 10 counties to address the perennial poor water services in the rural areas.
The water sector at KMT is currently in the process of rolling out an intervention focusing on supporting 15 county governments in improving functionality of peri-urban and rural water utilities by introducing various service delivery models. The adoption of the water service delivery models is envisaged to ensure sustainability and commercial viability of the rural utilities. The targeted counties include Kitui, Makueni, Homabay, Kisumu, Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia, Isiolo, Marsabit, Turkana, Wajir, Nandi, Trans Nzoia, Uasin-Gishu and Baringo.
Field visits already conducted in these counties indicate that county governments are in dire need of defining sustainable ways of managing the rural water utilities and address the chronic Non-Revenue Water.
“The models have come at an opportune time and indeed the county is tired of continuous malfunctioning of rural water utilities and persistent demand from Water committees” said Hon. Amina Adan Omar, Isiolo County Member of County Executive Committee (CEC) for Water and Irrigation, Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources.

Through the partnership with the counties and other market actors, we intend to reach additional 744,750 Kenyans in the next three years.

Pictured above: Women fetch clean and safe drinking water from a water kiosk 

Capacity Building Agrodealers

Kenya Markets Trusts partner in the crop seeds sector, Agri Experience, partnered with Business Advocacy Fund to organize a Business Advocacy training for twenty four officials from seven county agrodealers associations. The three-day training sought to help associations to effectively articulate issues of concern and constructively engage stakeholders for a better business environment in the sector. Participants were trained on advocacy, influencing, and media and communication approaches for Business Member Organizations.
Members of agrodealers associations have encountered challenges in dealing with county governments on issues that impede their operations. Among the challenges are the on-going county and national government subsidy programs. Subsidies distort the input markets to the disadvantage of both agrodealers and farmers.
Some regulations and inhibitive imposition and collection of cess, levies and fees also stifle progress in the industry. Addressing these issues will enable agrodealers to effectively deliver climate smart, agricultural inputs and technologies to the farmers.
In empowering agrodealers to tackle the challenges, we encourage them to form and advocate for a better business environment through agrodealer associations under the County Agrodealer Associations Strengthening Program (CAASP). Some agrodealer associations are officially recognized by respective county governments and are represented in county agricultural committees. However, some of these members find it difficult to articulate members’ positions in the committees. Also, most association members find it difficult to identify root causes of problems and to effectively negotiate for necessary changes.
The officials in attendance appreciated the training and are expected to put the skills learnt in the training to use. With the training and support from Business Advocacy Fund, members of the associations will be well positioned to positively influence county governments. County Agrodealer Associations will be able to monitor and evaluate actions by county governments and propose good practices in the sector. They will also be more confident in using the media as an advocacy platform to articulate their issues.
Business Advocacy Fund (BAF) supports business member organisations, trade unions and civil society organisations to engage in private-public dialogue and to advocate for improvements in the business environment in Kenya. The expectation for the fund is that, if successful, changes in policies will lead to improvements in investment and, ultimately, more jobs. The Fund provides capacity building, mentoring and grants to support dialogue and advocacy projects.
The training was held in Nairobi between the 8th and 10th of June, 2016. It brought together officials from Bungoma, Kakamega, Busia, Siaya, Vihiga, Kericho and Embu county associations. A second training for a different set of associations from Central, Eastern and Coastal counties is scheduled for 10th July 2016. 

Pictured above: A  farmer gets instructions on proper use of  seeds and other agri-inputs

Trading Stock… A Game Changer In Mara

At Kenya Markets Trust, we catalyze business linkages to improve live animal trade for reliable supply of quality livestock to the end markets.  We also facilitate the adoption of sustainable rangeland management practices and land governance. As such, we are continually forming partnerships with players in the Livestock sector with a view to improve the livelihoods of pastoralists in the country.
We recently initiated discussions with Mara Beef Ranch and Slaughterhouse to help the business in sustainable ranchland management, finishing/fattening and improved livestock processing practices.
The Mara Beef Company rears, slaughters and processes cattle on their Naretoi Farm and within the Enonkishu Conservancy on the edge of the Maasai Mara. The company supplies beef to wholesalers and consumers in Nairobi and Western Kenya. They specialize in Boran, Aberdeen Angus and Zebu breeds.
Mara Beef works together with the Enonkishu Conservancy in a wildlife-livestock integrated approach. They engage with the local community to establish sustainable livestock production, reduce overgrazing and overstocking, conserve and restore biodiversity.

In May 2016, Mara Beef slaughterhouse slaughtered 280 animals with a target of 350 in June.  The slaughterhouse has the capacity to slaughter 50 cattle a day (1500/month). However, they are unable to attain this due to lack of reliable  supply of livestock besides end market challenges for the meat.
Within Mara Beef Ranch, an innovative project on setting aside select livestock from the community as trading stock is being piloted. The select trading stock is finished/fattened on the ranch so that they can be best suited for the market. Mara Beef slaughterhouse has the highest priority to purchase these fattened livestock before any other party.
KMT is looking to partner with Mara Beef to help them actualize this new concept , which could be a game changer in commercial livestock production for pastoral communities. The partnership will enhance Sustainable Rangeland Management practices in the ranch in a way that benefits the communities living around the ranch. This partnership will look into fostering better business relations between Mara Beef and the neighboring communities and ranches to guarantee consistent quality supply of livestock. Our partnership will look to streamline the company’s processes to meet the high demand of meat from its customers.

Pictured above:  Predator proof "Boma" in the Mara Beef Ranch.

New Arrivals

This month, our Knowledge and Results team welcomes two additions.
Elvis Karanja joins as a Knowledge and Results Manager. He will largely be involved in repackaging of information into knowledge products.
Elvis joins us from Safaricom Ltd, where he was working as a Distribution Analyst, responsible for collation and analysis of data to assess performance of the firm’s supply chain distribution processes and customer satisfaction levels through regular reporting of key performance indicators. He has also previously worked as a part-time University lecturer in statistics as well as an intern at Barclays Bank.
Elvis is a skilled and results-driven statistician, with a highly successful background in statistical modeling. Through his passion, he has successfully submitted statistical articles for various international conferences and also has a journal publication.
He holds a BSc Mathematics (Statistics Major) and an MSc Social Statistics from the University of Nairobi. He is currently pursuing a PHD in Bio-statistics from the University of Nairobi.
Naomi Maina joins as a Knowledge and Results Officer. She brings to KMT over 5 years’ experience in Monitoring and Evaluation. Naomi has extensive experience in data management and this will be of value to KMT as she will be in charge of development of data collection tools, managing datasets, data analysis and report writing.
She previously worked with Jhpiego Kenya (an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University) in Monitoring Evaluation and Research. At Jhpiego, she was involved in the implementation of research studies, data analysis and report writing.
Naomi holds a BSc. Mathematics (Statistics) form Catholic University of Eastern Africa and a MSc. Population Studies from the Nairobi University.

Pictured above: Elvis Karanja (left) and Naomi Maina.

Kenya Markets Trust works in partnership with the private sector and government to make agricultural markets more inclusive and competitive. This involves finding, testing and scaling new business innovations in products, services, information and outreach. At the same time, we support improvements to the business-enabling environment.

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