Monthly Updates from Kenya Markets Trust

September 2016

 

IN THIS EDITION

Promoting use of Bio-pesticides for safety concerns and export trade

Biological pesticides are emerging as an important option in pest and disease control. They not only offer the promise of contributing to improved crop yields for the farmers, but are also environmentally-friendly compared to chemical pesticides that are currently in use among majority of small holder farmers.
 
Kenya Markets Trust has partnered with Dudutech and Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) to promote the use of bio-pesticides among smallholder farmers in Kenya.
 
For the last 15 years, Dudutech has been working with large scale horticultural farms that have established markets and infrastructure, have the capacity to buy products in large volumes, and can pay for training courses for their growers.
 
Dudutech’s partnership with Kenya Markets Trust will enable smallholder farmers access their products through established retail networks (Agrodealers). Under this partnership, two pilot projects were initiated in Kirinyaga and Meru Counties with the purpose of creating awareness about Dudutech’s bio-pesticide products and also demonstrate their efficacy through field trials. The pilot project in Kirinyaga County is at its final stages and Dudutech products are now available at a major distributor in Mwea town called New Downtown Ltd.
 
Over time, Bio-pesticides have proved to be effective in tackling the challenge of maximum residue levels (MRLs). The learnings from the above pilots will help us in rolling out similar projects with smallholders from other counties so as to promote sustainable incomes, food safety and security at the national level.
 
Watch this video to learn more about Bio-pesticides use among Kenyan smallholder farmers, and read more here about the launch KMT supported Dudutech to hold for their four products for smallholder farmers.

Pictured above: A farmer displays dudutech's biopesticide products he has been using.

Innovations for reduced Non Revenue Water

Water utilities in Kenya continue to struggle with high Non-Revenue Water (NRW) which results in staggering losses in revenue. Non-Revenue Water is defined as the difference between the amount of water put into the distribution system and the amount that is billed to consumers. In the year 2013/2014 alone, Kenya lost approximately 10.6 billion Shillings due to NRW!
 
Reducing NRW will help utilities ensure their financial viability and improve levels of service provided to customers. The pressure on utilities to increase operational efficiencies necessitates the uptake of new and innovative methods.
 
Together with our implementing partner, SNV, we partnered with Water Services Providers Association (WASPA) and Water Services Trust Fund (WSTF) to hold a two-day training workshop for water utilities, representatives from the management boards of the utilities, respective county officials, and representatives from Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB), on Performance Based Contracts (PBCs) for NRW Management in Kenya.
 
 
The workshop was facilitated by Didier Carron, an international PBC expert. Carron has accumulated a vast amount of knowledge in the management of Non-Revenue water using PBC and is the current vice president of the International Water Association (IWA) task group on PBC. He has also co-authored a book titled Performance Based Contracts (PBC) for Improving Utilities Efficiency: Experiences and Perspectives.
 
Read more here about the training and see how it will lead to reduction of NRW in Kenya.

Pictured above: Pictorial presentation of the spectrum of Performance Based Contracts in the Water Sector  

Improved Animal Health for Increased Pastoralists Incomes
 

In promoting sustainability of the Livestock sector, Kenya Markets Trust supports insurance companies, animal health product and service providers, county governments and other relevant partners to improve livestock production support services.
 
The animal health intervention within the Livestock strategy recognizes that in order to achieve systemic change, there needs to be an increase in the number of animal health input and service providers providing sustainable animal health products and services to pastoralists. This will ensure that pastoralists are not only accessing products, but also accessing information and services required for appropriate use of the products.
 
KMT has piloted the animal health intervention in Wajir in partnership with Wajir Agrovet Center. Using the lessons learnt in this pilot, we are scaling up the intervention to other Counties. Recently, we identified county level agrovets that will serve as change agents in the target counties. They will identify stockists at sub-county level that they can work with.
 
We have identified Silo Agrovet, a local animal health inputs shop located in Turkana, Lodwar town. Working with Silo, we have undertaken intensive mapping of partners and identified 20 stockists across Turkana County.
 
We have also partnered with Muzamil Pharmaceuticals Limited Company to facilitate our entry into Marsabit, Mandera and Tana River Counties. Muzamil is a company that distributes and sells veterinary drugs, medical equipment and agricultural inputs in the above counties. KMT will work closely with the company to support their scale up into the target counties based on the model developed and piloted with Wajir Agro Vet Center
 
Our work in animal health is aimed at creating a robust and self-sustaining animal health input supply network. This will be achieved through working with animal health input manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, county level and sub-county level animal health input and service providers to address the various challenges at the demand and supply side of the chain.

Pictured above: A pastoralist administering drugs to a calf.

Towards 'smart' subsidies in Kenyan Agriculture

As part of our mandate of facilitating, convening and influencing, Kenya Markets Trust, in partnership with Agri Experience Limited, held a workshop named “Making subsidies work for Kenya” on Thursday, September 1, 2016 in Nairobi.
 
Kenya faces a potential food crisis with a rapidly growing population, stagnant, and sometimes declining yields for staple food crops and over reliance on maize. As a result, food insecurity stands at 43% and the food import bill is growing fast. It is recognized that sub-Saharan Africa displays a combination of high soil nutrient deficiency and very low input use, which contributes to lower yields. To boost agricultural productivity, improve food security, and increase farmers’ incomes, many governments, including county governments, subsidize farmers for inputs such as fertilizer and certified seed.
 
In the 2016/2017 Kenyan budget, 13% of Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MOALF) total budget was allocated to agricultural subsidies, showing the increasing importance of subsidies in Kenya. Although well-intentioned, subsidies around the world have been known to hurt private sector actors by causing distortions in agriculture value chains, amid other challenges such as untimely input supply, mismanagement and compromised distribution channels.
 
The workshop brought together national and county government subsidy program implementers, research institutes, universities, fertilizer and seed companies, as well as development partners, to discuss practical ways of making subsidies “smart”.
 
The workshop comprised of three presentations from subsidy experts- Dr. Joshua Ariga, Dr. Thomas Jayne, and Prof. Jean Jacques.
 
Dr. Joshua Ariga is a Kenyan who works for the International Fertilizer Development Center as a Senior Economist and has been involved in agricultural policy and development research including subsidies at Tegemeo. Dr. Ariga has published widely on this subject.
 
Dr. Thomas Jayne, on the other hand Michigan State University who has also extensively published on agricultural policy as well as subsidy programs in Africa. Dr. Jayne’s latest paper dated July 2016 discusses the link between subsidy programs and climate smart agriculture in Africa.
 
The third expert was Prof. Jean Jacques Muhinda, who has been contracted by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to study the effectiveness of subsidy programs across sub-Saharan Africa.
 
From the workshop, stakeholders appreciated that input subsidies should not be seen as a quick fix for dealing with high food prices. Important and over-riding principles in their design and implementation should be that they lead to incremental access to and productive use of inputs by smallholder farmers, that they should build sustainable smallholder input demand and private sector input supply, and that there be careful consideration of the management of incremental production to provide rural people with reliable improvements in food access and real incomes.

Pictured above: Presentation on how much countries have spent on Agricultural subsidies from 2009 to 2013. 

New Arrivals

Welcome to Robina Abuya, who joins KMT as a Climate Change Manager. Robina will be working with the Climate Lead to coordinate climate research activities under the PRISE project and mainstreaming climate change into the sectors that KMT works in. She brings to KMT a vast experience in Climate Change impacts, mitigation and adaptation, conservation and carbon projects development, gained from working with both Development and Private sectors. She is also bringing in experience in research and stakeholder management. Before joining KMT, she worked as a Conservation Management Associate – Climate Change, at the African Wildlife Foundation, and as a Projects Manager at ClimateCare Limited. 
 
We make three additions to our Dairy sector: Dr. George K. Wamae, Edwin Manyeki, and Dr. Andrew Muleki.
 
 
Dr. Wamae joins as an Interventions Manager – Milk Markets. Wamae brings to KMT  7 years’ experience and knowledge in the Dairy value chain. Previously, he worked with Heifer International Kenya, in implementing dairy enterprise value chain projects to facilitate composite market linkages. He incorporated innovative solutions and designed catalytic activities within the dairy value chain through the concept of business development services.
 
Mr. Manyeki is coming in as an Intervention Officer in charge of Milk Markets. Prior to joining KMT, he was working with Kenya Dairy Farmers Federation-KDFF as a Business Development Officer where he advised Dairy Hubs on value proposition to identify and develop investment and financing so as to increase net returns. He has also worked with the Ministry of Finance as an Internal Auditor Representative. Manyeki has experience in Financial Analysis and Reporting; Pro-poor Value Chain Development and Analysis, Market Systems Development, among other disciplines, which will be an important addition to our Dairy Sector.
 
Finally, Dr. Andrew Muleki joins as an Interventions Officer in charge of Feeds and Fodder. He has 6 years’ experience in the dairy sector, having worked with the East Africa Dairy Development Project (EADD), Kenya Agricultural Productivity and Agribusiness Project(KAPAP) and recently New Kenya Cooperative Creameries(NKCC).  
 
To all the new arrivals, we tell them Karibu Sana KMT.

Pictured above From left:  Edwin Manyeki, Dr. George Wamae, Robina Abuya, and Andrew Muleki, the four new arrivals in KMT this month.  

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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