Analysis of livestock and fodder value chains in arid and semi-arid lands in Kenya
As in many developing countries, the livestock revolution is real in Kenya which presents huge opportunities to improve the livelihoods of the pastoral community through improved production and marketing in the pastoral land-use system. To attain the promise of Vision 2030 and unlock the potential of arid and semi-arid lands in Kenya, intervention strategies and production systems need to be aligned with the ongoing change in: demand/consumption for animal-source foods (ASFs) and in the production environment. The average per capita red meat consumption in Kenya is about 15–16 kg, approximately 600,000MT2 of red meat nationally. Of this, about 80–86% comes from the pastoral production system, while 20–25% of the meat supply comes from the neighbouring countries (through formal and informal cross-border livestock trade) with Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda and Tanzania.
The Livestock component of the Accelerated Value Chain Development (AVCD) program recently undertook a livestock and fodder value chains analysis to the inform design and implementation of high impact and targeted interventions across five counties in northern Kenya (Isiolo, Garissa, Marsabit, Turkana and Wajir). Operating with the framework of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Feed the Future Initiative in Kenya. The program promotes and upscales the utilization of improved technologies and innovations of selected value chains (livestock, dairy, and staple root and drought-tolerant crops) to competitively and sustainably increase productivity, promote agricultural growth and improve nutrition and food security, particularly among women and children. The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) leads the AVCD livestock value chain whose main goal is to increase incomes from the sales of livestock by 50% by 2018, lifting an additional 50,000 households in selected regions of Kenya out of poverty and improving their nutritional status.
Gender transformative approaches
The current widespread recognition of the importance of integrating gender into development is reflected in the growing prominence of gender strategies for research and development organizations, the emergence of compelling approaches for gender integration, and the development of indicators for tracking performance.
The agricultural research, development and donor community is building on this momentum to pursue increasingly more substantive approaches to gender integration as reflected in USAID’s Feed the Future program and in many of the CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs). Despite this, there is growing concern that these recent achievements need to go further if they are to integrate gender into development in ways that achieve lasting impacts on poverty and hunger. Unless development research and practice address the underlying causes of gender disparities in access to and control over agriculture and other valued resources, sustainable change is unlikely to be achieved.
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