Kenya is a food-deficit country, importing up to 20% of its annual cereal requirements. Improvement in production of the main cereal commodities – maize, sorghum, and millet; and associated pulses is constrained by limited adoption of improved crop technologies and practices such as improved seed varieties, adequate fertilizer use, soil and water management, good agricultural practices including conservation agriculture, access to timely agro-climatic information, processing and storage.
The KCEP-CRAL is an expansion to the ASALs of the Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme (KCEP) which became effective in April 2014 through a partnership between the Government of Kenya (GoK), the European Union (EU), and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The overall development objectives of the KCEP are to contribute to national food security and smallholder income generation by supporting farmers to increase the productivity and profitability of key cereal commodities – maize, sorghum, and millet, and associated pulses.KCEP support is focused on farmers in medium- and high-potential production areas of the country. In line with the Government’s priorities, KCEP-CRAL will expand this support to smallholder farmers in the ASALs.
World Food Programme (WFP), IFAD and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), building on their comparative advantages to support GoK in farmer graduation from food insecurity to market-oriented farming, including Good Agricultural Practices, resilience, and sustainable Natural Resource Management (NRM). The Programme approach also encompasses the National Policy on developing ASALs which recognizes the diversified livelihood coping strategy as key in the dry-lands where smallholder farmers grow different crops with varied tolerance to drought and keep livestock as an insurance against crop failure.