Monthly Updates from Kenya Markets Trust

April 2016

 

IN THIS EDITION

  • Laikipia: Investment Opportunities
  • Livestock Dev't In Marsabit County
  • Safe Milk Marketing Platforms
  • Research: Agricultural Cess
  • Cooperatives Transforming Lives 
  • 4th Mazao Forum held In Embu
  • Strengthening Water Providers
  • New Arrivals

EXPLORING INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR LAIKIPIA COUNTY

The British High Commissioner to Kenya, H.E Nic Hailey, on 5th April 2016 invited Kenya Markets Trust to a meeting with the County Government of Laikipia to seek investment opportunities and support to the County by UKAid-supported investors and development partners.
 
His Excellency The Governor, Hon. Joshua Irungu, came with senior staff from his government. The KMT Livestock Director, Ali Hassan, and the Livestock Sector Lead, Abdikarim Daud, represented KMT at the function.  Ali Hassan shared KMT’s work in the sectors we engage in i.e. AgriBusiness (Inputs, Seed, Dairy), Water and Livestock.  Those in attendance appreciated KMT’s unique approach to development, which emphasizes on partnerships for sustainability.  
 
Laikipia County is known as Kenya’s Meat basket, due to its large livestock population. The County boasts 1,899,685 heads of cattle, 340,914 sheep, and 282,734 goats.
 
Land use in the pastoral lands in Kenya has been a persistent challenge for Investors, specifically ranchers. The KMT Team underscored the need to work closely with ranchers to extend their land lease, to support continued value addition to the sector. This would include the County Government developing Land use plans and incorporate the ranchers in better management of the rangelands, and regulate the influx of pastoralists into and out of the county.
 
With the County Government looking to construct a state of the art Slaughter House, KMT encouraged the officials to further discuss with the private sector to gauge the viability and support towards this initiative
 
Following this meeting, KMT will support the County Government to convene a two day Private sector-led stakeholders conference in Nanyuki to discuss the livestock potential, challenges and opportunities to realize Market-led interventions in the sector, with an eventual development of Laikipia Livestock Strategy.

Pictured above: From left, Laikipia County Governor, Hon. Joshua Irungu, UK's High Commissioner to Kenya, H.E Nic Hailey, KMT Livestock Director, Ali Hassan and KMT Livestock Sector Lead, Abdikarim Daud.

FACILITATING LIVESTOCK DEVELOPMENT IN MARSABIT COUNTY

In our bid to sustainably transform markets in the Northern counties of Kenya, KMT has been engaging the Marsabit County Government as it sets up an export standards abattoir.
 
Marsabit County is the largest county by landmass in Kenya, and borders three counties - Wajir to the East, Turkana to the West and Isiolo to the South. It also borders the country of Ethiopia to the north. The county boasts of the largest population and the home to Black Persian Head goats in Africa, the most demanded sub-species in UAE, Kenya’s largest meat exports market/ destination.
 
The government of Marsabit County has budgeted Sh400 million for the construction of an export class abattoir and other auxiliary structures including Feedlots a Tannery, Holding grounds and Quarantine stations. The abattoir is expected to slaughter 500 animals per day. 
 
The initial construction of the abattoir was disrupted by the effects of strong wind that demolished the structure. After this setback, the County Government, led by Governor Ukur Yatani, sought the facilitation support of KMT in redesigning the structure, carrying out a processing business feasibility study in the county to guide the investment, possible climate mitigation through alternative energy sources aimed at cutting down operational costs.
 
Our first step in supporting the County is to carry out a Livestock Processing Business Feasibility study to guide the county government in redesigning the abattoir and  marketing of associated livestock products.
 
Livestock keeping is the main economic activity in the county. There are 1,143,480 goats, 424,600 heads of cattle and 960,000 sheep. Others are camels (203,320) and donkeys (63,860) and a few free range  chicken. The main livestock products are milk, beef, mutton and camel meat.

Pictured above: Consultant Edward Hamer (left) presents to Marsabit County Governor, Hon. Ukur Yattani (right) and KMT CEO, Mr. P. Wanyagah, the proposed design changes for the Marsabit County Abattoir 

RESEARCH: ALTERNATIVE SAFE MILK MARKETING PLATFORMS

KMT has contracted SBO Research to conduct a study on the Informal Milk Markets in Kenya.
 
This follows a Sector Review (Deep Dive) KMT recently conducted on its Dairy Sector work, to critically evaluate sector interventions in relation to the wider potentials of the sector. The Deep Dive brought about a number of market systems gaps that need to be addressed, among them the informal milk marketing channels that meet set safety standards at affordable prices.
 
The informal milk markets are largely affected by the on-going discussion on milk marketing and the new regulation banning raw milk trade. One critical factor, which is often overlooked, is that markets are consumer driven with a preference for raw, full fat fresh milk at lower price point.

Read more here about the study SBO Research will be undertaking and how it will help shape our interventions in the Dairy sector.

Pictured above: Lillian and Boniface of SBO Research append signature on a contract for the firm to undertake Informal Milk Trade Study in Kenya. Present were KMT Dairy Sector Lead, Dr. Chris Silali, Head of Finance, Mary Ngugu and Head of HR and Admin, Susan Kambo

COOPERATIVES TRANSFORMING LIVES OF SMALLHOLDER FARMERS

Agriculture Co-operatives play a crucial role in enhancing productivity of smallholder farmers.

KMT has identified 17 Co-operatives with a combined membership of over 200,000 that sell agricultural inputs to their members.  Co-operatives often have several retail outlets thus present a good opportunity to go to scale easily once they adopt good practices.  Because they have a responsibility to deliver products to their members, KMT is supporting these Co-operatives to understand the need to add value to existing services and be the go-to points by members.

Find out how our work with Machakos Cooperative Union (MCU) in partnership with Athi River Mining is benefiting farmers in Machakos and Makueni Counties here.

Pictured above: Farmers at Mwatate Co-operative society, a member of Machakos Co-operative Union, busy on the Society Farm.

4TH MAZAO FORUM HELD IN EMBU

The Mazao Forums, developed and managed by Agri Experience, KMT’s implementing partner in Seed work, seek to facilitate agro-dealer network and growth, geared to developing and implementing a farmer-centred crop seeds distribution system. Agro-dealers in Kenya are the vital link between farmers and agro-input firms, and are the trusted source of information to farmers.
 
The 2nd regional Mazao Forum was held on the 3rd and 4th March, 2016 in Embu.  This followed the 1st regional forum held in Kisumu in February, 2016. The Embu forum was the fourth Mazao forum held to date, the first two (both in 2015) being national forums held in Nairobi.
 
The Embu forum was aimed at attracting agro-dealers from the Eastern, Central and Coastal regions. The Forum was attended by 100 agro-dealers drawn from sixteen counties, and fifteen lead farmers. Ten seed and agri-input companies exhibited at the Forum, with two seed companies, Freshco and Monsanto taking the lead sponsor slots. One of the exhibitors, Greenlife Crop Protection Africa Ltd, found the Forum so productive that they expressed firm interest in being the lead sponsor for the next Mazao Forum.
 
The main theme of the forum revolved around industry regulations, with speakers from KEPHIS (Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service), Crop Life, PCPB (Pest Control Products Board) and KVB (Kenya Veterinary Board) explaining the regulations and how they affect agro-dealers and their businesses. The regulatory panel session involved very lively and informative exchanges with the audience.  The representative from KEPHIS invited the agro-dealers to work in partnership with them to address problems by advising farmers to report fake seed issues through the short code 20441 and explained how the new, innovative ‘scratch card’ on every certified seed packet will help in reducing the menace of fake seed.
 
Representatives from the regulatory bodies strongly supported the formation of county agro-dealer associations as advocacy vehicles to give agro-dealers a unified voice and assist in addressing regulatory bottlenecks. Besides the regulators, the agro-dealers heard from business leaders, including KMT’s new Agribusiness Portfolio Director, Herman Githinji, former Commercial Lead for Unga, and experienced agribusiness man Caesar Mwangi, former MD of Sasini Tea.  The agro-dealers attending Mazao Forum were extremely complimentary about the business sessions, stating that they seldom have the opportunity to learn from seasoned business executives.  Of particular interest was the advice and tips on how to grow their business amidst growing competition, as well as how to maintain a solid customer base. 

Pictured above: Attendees of the 4th Mazao Forum consult seed companies at the exhibition desk 

KMT INTERVENES TO STRENGTHEN WATER PROVIDERS

Together with our partner in the Water Sector, SNV, we continue to pilot innovative models that would support water services providers to efficiently and sustainably provide safe and clean drinking water to Kenyans.
 
Some of these models involve engaging local Private Operators (POs) as day-to-day managers of selected five community-owned water projects- Elgon East in Bungoma County, Navakholo in Kakamega County, Wandiege in Kisumu County, Tachasis in Nandi County and Kanyadhiang in Homabay County.
 
The 5 rural water schemes are now supplying reliable, clean and quality water to about 77,000 people.
 
To ensure growth and sustainability of these Water Projects, there is need to bring them under the national benchmarking initiative and regulation regime of the water sector regulator, Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB).
 
What has KMT done?
We recently facilitated WASREB to build the capacity of the 5 POs on reporting against regulator Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), review their tariff structure, acquire Service Provision Agreements (SPAs) and adhere to governance requirements in anticipation for inclusion in the official water sector performance report-The Impact Report 9.
 
The outcome of the inclusion of these pilot water providers in The Impact Report 9 is to showcase the achievement of the Public-Private-Community-Partnership (PPCP) Model to water sector Players.
 
The capacity building of the POs by WASREB will enable all POs to engage the regulator and acquire SPAs for their service areas as soon as possible; they will regularize their tariffs and ensure tariffs cover cost of operations for sustainability, improve on services in terms of water quality and their reliability and general customer relations to justify the tariffs they charge. They will submit data to WASREB  on the percentage of water coverage, cost coverage, revenue collection efficiency, Non-Revenue Water (NRW) and Metering Ratio for inclusion in The Impact Report 9

Pictured above: Residents enjoy fetching clean and safe drinking water from Muhanda Water Project, one of the 5 Water Utilities we work with 

NEW ARRIVALS 

Ahmed Hassan has joined KMT as Portfolio Manager - North Eastern Kenya, based in Wajir County.
 
Ahmed previously handled humanitarian and development agencies in Kenya and Somalia for 7 years. His last engagement was in Somalia as program manager for PROGRESS (Program to Enhance Resilience in Somalia). He has also worked with SADO (Social and Agricultural Development organization) and CRS (Catholic Relief Services), among other organizations.
 
He holds a Bachelor of Education (B.A Education) from Kenyatta University. He has vast experience in project management in the fields of Peace, livelihood, livestock, Community development and Governance.
 
Ahmed’s extensive experience in North Eastern will be a great addition to the Livestock team, especially as we scale our market transformation agenda in the Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASALS).
 
We sought to understand Ahmed's personal connection with Northern Kenya where he has been working for years; what drives him most to work in Livestock sector and what changes he would like to make in the sector and Northern Kenya.
 
“First and foremost I was brought up and educated in northern Kenya to a pastoralist family and I understand and know how it feels to be the product of such set up. As an individual from such set up, I have great passion for pastoralism as a way of increasing and maintaining sustainable development. What drives me most is to see the actors in livestock sector thrive in terms of markets and information access, making the industry resilient and recognized both nationally and internationally.
I aim at contributing to change people’s perception regarding pastoralism through knowledge, experience-sharing and policy dialogue/dissemination."
 
Asked “Do you have children? If yes, their ages?”  “I have no children just recently married and working hard to get them” replied Ahmed who clearly has a funny bone.
 
Ahmed’s hobbies are playing and watching football and his favorite meal is ugali and ‘nyama choma’.
 
Welcome onboard KMT Ahmed.

Pictured above: Ahmed Hassan, the new KMT Portfolio Manager for North Eastern Kenya

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.

We highly value your feedback, so please write to us at comms@kenyamarkets.org for any comments and suggestions you may have on this newsletter.

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