Resilient, Robust and Reliable - from Aid to Trade

Kenya has transformed towards a (low) middle-income country with growing level of urbanization. Therefore, food and nutrition security is increasingly dependent on availability, access and supply of high nutritional value food items (i.e. vegetables, dairy, meat, fish) that party replace cereals and roots & tubers in (peri)urban diets. These alternative commodities not only require more intensive production systems, but also depend on supply chain integration through modern retail outlets for guaranteeing food quality and safety.

Since 2012, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) in Nairobi has invested in intensification of Kenyan agriculture, with the objective to contribute to Food & Nutrition Security (FNS). The 2014-2017 Multi Annual Strategic Plan (MASP) highlights that Dutch bilateral investments in the FNS sector have resulted in promising partnerships and programmes in the aquaculture, dairy and horticulture sub-sectors. The Embassy expects that 2021 will be the first year without a Dutch bilateral development cooperation programme in Kenya and that preparations have to be made for the transition from aid to trade.

From aid to trade

As part of the transition strategy from aid to trade, Wageningen University & Research proposed to develop and implement a project that assesses and validates to what extent lessons can be learned from the Embassy’s agriculture and FNS programmes. The project investigates whether these lessons can be transferred and scaled up, and as such better anchored within Kenya. The project also includes the experiences of other related programmes in Kenya that are centrally funded by the government of the Netherlands. To successfully validate scalability and scale out these lessons, the project also supports stakeholder networks to enable results validation, scaling up and policy outreach (e.g. capacity development and stakeholder alignment).

The 2014-2017 MASP of EKN Nairobi highlights the development of partnerships as a priority. The 3R Kenya (Resilient, Robust and Reliable – from Aid to Trade) project is designed to respond to this ambition. Specifically, the project supports partnership and innovation networks between producer organisations, public agencies, civic organisations and knowledge institutes from Kenya (and their Netherlands counterparts) that anchors knowledge and capacities for impact appraisal and dynamic scaling up that contributes to robust and competitive sector performance.

3R Kenya provides strategic inputs to the MASP 2018-2022 for the key activities and approaches that can be used to accompany the transition from aid to trade. It therefore builds on a co-learning framework with regard to specific project approaches and strategies in the sectors of aquaculture, dairy and horticulture, that are of key importance for diet diversification in peri-urban settings. Moreover, attention will be given to identify the conditions that enable sustained competitiveness of these sectors, particularly considering the interactions between private, public and knowledge agents during and after the transition process.