Building on a successful first phase that ended in 2017, the contract for the Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme II was signed in February this year to provide continued support to the Kenyan agricultural sector
From 2012 to 2017, NIRAS provided technical support to the first phase of the Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP I), a large-scale project covering all 47 counties of Kenya and designed to help commercialise the sector, lifting incomes and reducing food insecurity for value chain actors, but in particular for Kenya’s farmers. Evaluations undertaken after the conclusion of the programme’s first phase, which NIRAS also managed, found strong positive outcomes for hundreds of thousands of agricultural value chain actors, including government institutions, agribusinesses, and most importantly, Kenyan farmers themselves.
Due to these successes, the Government of Kenya and the development cooperation agency of Sweden (Sida) – which funded the first phase of the project – decided to renew the programme for another five-year term, bringing NIRAS back on board with Mikael Segerros as team leader, in a consortium with the Kenya-based company SustaiNet Group. The contract was signed in February and the inception report has been delivered, marking the beginning of ASDSP II implementation, which is funded by Sida, the Government of Kenya, the European Union, and each of the county governments in Kenya.
The first phase of the programme had many achievements, including developing capacity among government institutions and the private sector, bringing vulnerable stakeholders, especially women and youth to the table and providing them with comprehensive trainings and capacity building, and improving the overall coordination of the sector and supporting policy landscape.
The programme has provided a strong foundation for achieving the Sector Vision and Mission which should be replicated in more value chains.
Lessons were learnt during the initial term of the project, however, and a number of modifications will be made in ASDSP II to develop the agricultural sector in the country even more effectively. Due to a change in the organisation of the Kenyan government, most of the responsibility for implementation of agricultural policy has been devolved from the central government to the counties – this will require different approaches to institutional capacity building and coordination. The programme will further focus on increasing productivity and entrepreneurship at all levels, strengthening incomes and markets, and making funds available for innovative approaches, including green growth.
The NIRAS team looks forward to renewing partnerships in Kenya and continuing to contribute to poverty reduction in rural parts of the country.
For more details on the project, click here.