KIPPRA, in collaboration with Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), organized the Ukama Ustawi Kenya national policy dialogue on diversification for resilient agri-food systems in East and Southern Africa on 21st October 2022 at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) campus.
The dialogue brought together government officers, researchers, farmers, businesses, donors and representatives from International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Kenya National Farmers’ Federation (KENAFF), International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), International Water Management Institute (IWMI), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Worldfish and ILRI to discuss pathways to improve the enabling environment for maize intensification, diversification, agribusiness and trade in Kenya. Ukami Ustawi’s objective is to support a climate resilient, water-secure and socially inclusive transformation of the region’s agricultural sector.
The dialogue was meant to introduce Ukama Ustawi, discuss Kenya policy priorities, present Ukama Ustawi policy activities and relevance, validate the policy mapping exercise that was conducted by KIPPRA and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), and lastly clarify the policy hub roadmap. The forum also provided an opportunity to discuss specific opportunities for collaboration and joint work on sustainable intensification and diversification policies in Kenya.
The opening session was done by Dr Joseph Karugia from ILRI, who welcomed the stakeholders and gave a brief introduction and the objectives of the workshop.
Senior Policy Analyst at KIPPRA, Mr Joshua Laichena, delivered the Executive Directors remarks. He also thanked the stakeholders for making time to be part of the important deliberations. Mr Laichena also doubled up as the moderator.
CGIAR has partnered with national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, development organizations, private sector and academia in conducting research for a food secure future. CGIAR is the largest public agricultural innovation network, which is dedicated to transform food, land and water systems in a climate crisis.
The Ukama Ustawi is one of the projects that has enhanced the agriculture sector in Kenya. The initiative addresses food and nutrition security risks that arise from overreliance on maize in climate resilient, water-secure and a socially inclusive way.
In the recent past, Kenya has experienced shocks such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, which have affected small scale farmers. Agriculture is key sector as it contributes significantly to the GDPs of African economies.
Maize is an important staple food in Eastern and Central Africa, which constitutes to 50 per cent of the intake. Reliance on maize imposes food security risks for the region and this, therefore, calls for diversification in crop production.
Dr Joseph Karugia from ILRI speaks during the workshop.