3R Kenya - Resilient, Robust and Reliable

As part of the transition strategy from aid to trade, Wageningen University & Research implements a project that assesses and validates to what extent lessons can be learned from the Netherlands Embassy’s Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security programmes.
The 3R Kenya Resilient, Robust and Reliable - from Aid to Trade project investigates whether these lessons from the aid era can be transferred and scaled up in the coming trade era, and as such be better anchored within Kenya.


Kenya has transformed towards a (low) middle-income country with a growing level of urbanisation. 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 in part 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 to guarantee food quality and safety.

Sector development

3R Kenya focuses on the aquaculture, dairy and horticulture sectors. These sectors are actively supported by the EKN in Nairobi. All three sectors have growth potential as well as contributing to food & nutrition security.

The overall aim of the 3R Kenya project is 'Well informed stakeholders actions support the transition from aid to trade and strengthening the aquaculture, dairy and horticulture sector'

It will do this using an approach based on:

  1. Resilient Innovation System: knowledge exchange and co-innovation networks that are supportive for developing dynamic adaptive capacities for technical, institutional and social innovation;
  2. Robust Supply Chain Integration: efficient and trustful interactions between supply chain partners that reduce transaction costs and risk for enhancing product quality and safety and reinforcing sustainability;
  3. Reliable Institutional Governance: public-private cooperation, co-innovation and public economic policy framework that is supportive for private investments and enhances opportunities for (inter)national trade.


The project focuses on three main analytical domains, which jointly are essential to understand and achieve the transition towards robust sectors. These domains are innovation, governance and value chains. The knowledge generated will be applied to understand how EKN sector projects have gone about specific issues within these domains:

  • The innovation system: involving critical players that support innovation (research, extension, dedicated projects) in the three sectors;
  • The supply chain: interactions and exchanges between different supply chain actors, ranging from input (seed) and finance providers, production and processing agents, and retail and trade enterprises;
  • The institutional governance: policies, standards and markets that set the playing field for supply chain actors and create an enable business setting.

Agri-food Growth Diamond

Given the unique Dutch agri-food development experience with inclusive and knowledge-business competence development, a dynamic partnership between private, public, civic and knowledge agents is considered to be vital for reaching competitiveness and impact. Therefore, interactions between these 'agri-food growth diamond' actors need to evolve into a 'agri-food growth diamond', capable to transform its experiences and networks into market-based competitive advantages. Supporting the transition to robust agri-food sectors performance in a context of moving from Aid to Trade hence requires concerted efforts in three approaches that are fundamental for supporting structural transformation processes.