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Kenya

19

Projects Includes planned, ongoing and closed projects

US$ 846.26 million

Total Project Cost

US$ 433.09 million

Total IFAD financing

4,445,597

Households impacted


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The Context

Over 75 per cent of Kenya’s estimated 43 million people inhabit rural areas, where around half of the population lives in poverty (as of 2009). Arid and semi-arid lands make up more than 80 per cent of the country’s land mass and are home to approximately 36 per cent of its population. These areas have the highest incidence of poverty.

The agriculture sector remains the backbone of the Kenyan economy, employing 80 per cent of the rural population and accounting for about 65 per cent of exports. Kenya also has one of the largest and most developed dairy sectors in sub-Saharan Africa. It accounts for about 4 per cent of GDP and grows 4 per cent annually. 

Kenya became a low-middle-income country in 2014. Its economic growth is expected to continue at an annual average rate of 5.9 per cent over the next five years. However, poverty and income inequality remain persistent challenges. Approximately 10 million Kenyans suffer from chronic food insecurity and poor nutrition.  

Rural poverty remains high due to population growth – the national population has more than tripled over the past 30 years – and dependence on rapidly depleting natural resources. The degradation of natural resources hits women the hardest, as they assume greater responsibility for providing their families with food, water and fuelwood.
 
The agriculture sector, which contributes over 25 per cent of annual GDP, is also threatened by the changing climate. If this is not addressed, its economic costs are estimated at 3 per cent of GDP per year by 2030, and could reach 5 per cent by 2050. 

Nearly all the country’s crop production is rainfed, and almost half of animal production occurs in arid and semi-arid lands. The growing impact of drought and unreliable rainfall are expected to significantly constrain the sector.

The Strategy

Kenya’s long-term development blueprint, Vision 2030, was launched in 2008. It was designed to guide the nation’s transformation into an industrialized, middle-income country.

The country’s agricultural development strategy for 2010-2020 aims to achieve agricultural growth of 7 per cent annually and reduce food insecurity by 30 per cent. The Government and IFAD believe that improving people’s access to key staple cereals can help to reduce poverty and food insecurity. 

In Kenya, IFAD loans provide support to smallholders and value chain actors (agro-dealers, private extension services, small traders, processors, etc.) in the dairy sector and cereal value chains. They also improve access to rural financial services.

The country strategic opportunities programme for 2013-2018 has three strategic objectives:

  • improved natural resource management that is gender-responsive, climate-resilient, sustainable and community-based;
  • improved access to assets, technologies and services for vulnerable rural women, men and young people in target areas;
  • enhanced, sustainable access to markets for smallholder farmers, agropastoralists and rural entrepreneurs.

In the past, IFAD activities concentrated on rural areas with medium to high productive potential, where most of Kenya's poor people live. 

Under our new strategy, we are extending support to the country's arid and semi-arid lands. This shift supports the government's commitment to improve small-scale irrigation, extension services, marketing and access to financial services in areas with high poverty rates. The emphasis is on a market-oriented approach in the sectors of horticulture, dairy production, cereal commodities and rural finance.

Country Facts

The agriculture sector remains the backbone of the Kenyan economy, employing 80 per cent of the rural population and accounting for about 65 per cent of export earnings.

Kenya has one of the largest and most developed dairy sectors in sub-Saharan Africa, accounting for about 4 per cent of GDP and growing 4 per cent annually. Over 1 million smallholder farmers depend on dairying for their livelihoods.

Since 1979, IFAD has invested a total of US$336.3 million in 18 programmes and projects in Kenya, with a total cost of US$676.0 million, benefiting about 4.3 million poor rural households.


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Country documents

Republic of Kenya Country strategic opportunities programme 2020-2025

Type: Country Strategic Opportunities Programme
Region: East and Southern Africa

Projects and Programmes

PLANNED Under design after concept note approval

APPROVED Approved by the Executive Board or IFAD President

SIGNED Financing agreements signed

ONGOING Under implementation

CLOSED Completed/closed projects

No matching projects were found
No matching projects were found

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Related news

Mobile phones to help 1.7 million small-scale farmers increase production during COVID-19 economic slowdown

August 2020 - NEWS
Some 1.7 million small-scale farmers in Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan will soon receive personalized agricultural advice through their mobile phones as a means to improve their incomes, food security and resilience to economic shocks caused by COVID-19, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) announced today. 

IFAD-financed projects support rural poverty reduction and agricultural development in Kenya

December 2018 - NEWS
Rural development projects financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have contributed to increase productivity, incomes and food security in Kenya, according to a new report presented today in the capital city of Nairobi.

Kenya and IFAD to discuss results of impact evaluation and country strategy aimed at better targeting interventions and strengthening partnerships in the country

November 2018 - NEWS
The Independent Office of Evaluation of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government of Kenya are holding a one-day workshop to present the results of an independent evaluation of IFAD's country strategy and programme in Kenya. 

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Related stories

Social media helps young rural Kenyan entrepreneurs battle the COVID-19 shutdown

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Until COVID-19 hit in March, the G-Star Youth Group’s banana processing factory was buzzing with activity.

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Related publications

Resilient Food Systems 2018-2019 Annual Report

March 2020
Discover how the Resilient Food Systems programme is enhancing long-term sustainability and resilience for food security in sub-Saharan Africa.

Fostering Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural Value Chains: The role of climate-resilient infrastructures for SMEs

February 2020

This study reviews evidence on initiatives that invest in climate-resilient infrastructure to support smallholder farmer organizations and agribusinesses in the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) category and, ultimately, to foster inclusive and sustainable agricultural value chains. Case studies from the BRACED and ASAP programmes across sub-Saharan Africa are presented.

IFAD Results Series Issue 3

December 2018
This issue presents and analyses experiences from the following IFAD-funded projects and programmes...

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Related videos

From low to high: Increasing productivity and purchasing power in Kenya

May 2019 - VIDEO
There are more than 7.5 million smallholder farmers in Kenya, accounting for about 75 per cent of the country's total agricultural output.

Powering rural households in Kenya

November 2017 - VIDEO
Rural Solutions is a video series that highlights solutions to specific challenges that are common in rural areas of developing countries. Biogas provides an environmentally-friendly alternative to power rural households - but biogas digesters are costly to set up, especially in remote areas. Here is a solution to this from Kenya.