Monthly Updates from Kenya Markets Trust

March  2017



Transforming Livelihoods in Elgon East Through Sustainable Water Services Delivery 

Community management is the common model for rural water supply, but it has limitations, particularly when it comes to the ability to sustain services over the long-term. These challenges often lead to the projects stalling and in most cases closing down.
This was the case in Kapsokwony Sub County in Bungoma, Western Kenya. The Elgon East Water Project used to serve the community and was the only source of water. It however faced management challenges and closed down. The residents had no option but to use unsafe water from streams, resulting in water borne diseases, safety and health hazards and loss of opportunities to pursue socio-economic activities.
However, with support from the UK’s Department for International Development and Gatsby Africa, Kenya Markets Trust and its implementing partner SNV have supported the water project to resume operations. This turn around was successful due to innovative partnerships between the local community and a private company.

To find out more, read this article...

Pictured above: Head of  DFID Kenya, Pete Vowles, climbs atop the completed and functional composite filtration unit at Elgon East Water Scheme. Through funding from DFID and GA, KMT and SNV have supported the water scheme to streamline management to turn around the project and increase access to clean and safe drinking water to the residents.  

Agrodealer-led Climate Smart Demos Changing Farmers’ Fortunes

KMT’s implementing partner in the crop seed sector, Agri Experience, facilitated climate smart agrodealer-led demos for the 2016 short rains (Sep/Oct).

Agrodealer-led climate smart demos have taken an upward trajectory changing the agribusiness landscape.

Field days that involve local farmers, seed companies and other agri-input suppliers have been on-going since Dec 2016. The demos are aimed at:

  1. Encouraging farmers to plant a wide variety of crops by showcasing the potential of climate-smart crops that are properly targeted for their agro-ecology. Emphasis was placed on non-maize crops such as sorghum, beans and cowpeas.
  2. Encouraging farmers to increase their uptake of certified seeds and in particular climate smart varieties (that is, varieties which are water efficient, pest/disease tolerant; have high germination rate; early maturing; drought tolerant) by seeing the differences in yield between certified and recycled seeds.
To find out more about these demo farms and how they are changing farmer fortunes,

watch this video...

Pictured above: Demo plot put up by an agro-dealer to facilitate farmer learning on use of seeds of improved varieties which would help farmers deal with climate change.  

Inputs Distributor Bridging Information Gap in The Agribusiness Sector

Eldoret Polytechnic was abuzz with activity as thousands of farmers in Uasin Gishu County took time to interact with different players in the agribusiness space, thanks to an agribusiness exhibition organized by Moiben Connections Ltd in Eldoret.

Moiben Connections is a leading agro inputs distributor supporting farmer access to services and products from leading companies like Syngenta East Africa Limited, Bayer East Africa Limited, Osho Chemical Industries Limited, Ultravetis East Africa Limited, Norbrook Kenya Limited, Mea limited, among others.

The inputs distributor held the expo with support from the Uasin Gishu County Government and Kenya Markets Trust.

Find out more here…

Pictured above: Exhibitors interact with farmers at the Eldoret Agribusiness Expo. Expos are helping inputs distributors to bridge the information gap in the agribusiness sector 

Alternative Livelihoods in Response to The Changing Climate

Climate change is by far the most ravaging and hard to mitigate natural disaster which cannot be addressed through short term fire-fighting tactics.

Effects of Climate change are evident in the shifting weather patterns that have led to unpredictable rainfall and prolonged dry spells. This has been a challenge to a majority of Kenyan farmers as they entirely depend on rain fed agriculture.

With the changing weather patterns, maize farmers in many parts of Kenya, traditionally known for maize growing, have experienced crop failure. This has necessitated seeking of alternative income generating crops that are more tolerant to adverse weather conditions. Farming alternative crops would increase farmer resilience to the harsh effects of the changing weather patterns.

Kenya Markets Trust (KMT), supported by Department for International Development (DFID) identified this need and facilitated the introduction of commercialization of fodder production in the Rift Valley at a time when farmers found it difficult to adopt pasture production in place of their traditional maize as a cash crop.

Read more here...

Pictured above: A hay farmer marvels at his mature hay on EDL farm in Narok. Adopting alternative livelihoods could be a response to the changing climate.

New Arrivals

Alison Ng’eny-Otieno joins KMT as the Head of Internal Audit and Risk.
She joins us from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) where she has been an Internal Audit Manager in the CGIAR Internal Audit Unit, covering EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) for the last four years. Before that she worked as the Head of Internal Audit at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) for nine years. She has also worked with Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) as an external auditor for four years.
Alison brings to KMT experience in conducting assurance and consulting assignments in developing countries in Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America. 
She holds a Masters’ degree in Business Administration, Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA), is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA(K)), and a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA).
When not working, Alison enjoys spending time with her family, reading and also appreciating great outdoors.

Pictured above: Alison Ng'eny-Otieno, the new KMT Head of Internal Audit and Risk.

Kenya Markets Trust, funded by UK's Department for International Development (DFID) and Gatsby Africa (GA), 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 for any comments and suggestions you may have on this newsletter.

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