NCBA CLUSA is addressing food security, nutrition of mothers and children under five years, formation and strengthening of farmers’ groups and cooperatives and good governance in the counties of Narok and Mbeere in Rift valley and Eastern provinces, two areas with potential to improve their agricultural production and ability to alleviate future food crises. Focusing on subsistence farmers, NCBA CLUSA helps farmers to form farmer groups or pre-cooperatives in increasing economies of scale, profitability and access to inputs. The project is working to increase the productivity of five agricultural crops of maize, beans, peas (dried), sorghum and millet, and intends to increase the market value for these products, improve food sufficiency of targeted locations by two months per year, facilitate the creation of food security plans, improve maternal and child health nutrition and increase awareness and participation of local government in food security.
The program builds the capacity of farmers groups and subsequently farmers’ cooperatives to increase productivity and improve livelihoods, working with NCBA CLUSA’s proven Lead Farmer method to engage community-based leaders in building capacity from the ground up. Through cooperative development and strengthening organizational capacity, the program will enhance food production. These increased yields will enable more families in rural Kenya to become food secure through better linkages to local markets to increase their livelihoods. The CDP program will also train over 200,000 individuals on nutrition and HIV/AIDS awareness in the most at-risk communities throughout the program period. The delivery of health and nutrition trainings will enable the program to implement a holistic approach to cooperative development. The program will also target food security through policy and local governance. By the end of the program, CDP Kenya will have engaged over 150 civil society organizations to promote political participation among their key stakeholders to advocate for issues related to food security.
In an attempt to decrease land degradation and deforestation in rural Narok and Mbeere, the CDP program advocates conservation agriculture techniques to smallholder farmer groups and pre-cooperatives. Through a partnership with a local agricultural organization, the CDP program offers trainings and technical support to promote basin establishment, laying of rip lines, appropriate seed rates and timely planting. These agricultural strategies have resulted in significant yield increases for the smallholder farmers, with over a 35% increase yield for the targeted crops.