Transforming agriculture through contracted extension service delivery systems: the case of Kenya’s Agricultural Productivity and Agribusiness Project
Transformation of small holder agriculture from subsistence farming to agribusiness focused systems, is paramount towards attainment of Kenya’s vision 2030 and the Millennium Development Goals. This requires extension service delivery systems that focus on addressing challenges within agricultural product value chains (APVC) continuum. The existing extension systems have not contributed much towards this transformation due to their limited capacities, including inadequate expertise and diversity. The Kenya Agricultural Productivity and Agribusiness Project (KAPAP) is implementing an innovative service delivery model, whose approaches include a Community Driven Development (CDD), demand driven and public private partnerships through contracted Service Providers (SPs). The aim of the model is to contribute towards increasing smallholder farmers’ productivity and incomes. The implementation of the model brings together sector players as implementing agents; while the SPs consortia were competitively selected. The services delivered to farmers’ common interest groups (CIGs) include high level value chain interventions such as organising farmers for marketing, and linking them to markets and other service providers. Payment for services is done using farmer grants and is pegged onto achievement of set income indicator benchmarks negotiated and agreed upon between farmers and their SPs. The implementation of the model is guided by operational procedures, designed to ensure that a harmonised process is followed within the targeted counties. A total of 109 SPs consortia were contracted in January 2012 to offer services to 118,865
farmers (Males = 57%; Females = 43%) organised into 4,355 Common Interest Working Groups (CWGs). The achievements made by end of 15 months show an increase in production for the 36 target enterprises and farmer incomes. The farmers earned a total of US$ 44,118 million at a service delivery of US$ 1,124,706, giving an econometric return to investment of 39.4. The achievements of this model qualifies it for inclusion among other feasible extension approaches or “islands of success” that have the potential to transform the agricultural sector in Kenya and in other developing nations with minimal modifications.
Key Words: Community driven development, innovative extension delivery