Wageningen UR will assists three agro sectors in Kenya in the transition from aid to trade in the Dutch development policy. Monday 14 December, Wageningen UR president Louise Fresco visited a round table meeting in Nairobi on the innovation issue in one of these sectors, the horticulture sector.
The project ‘3R Kenya’ is developed by Wageningen UR together with Kenyan partners. “We aim to find ways to scale up running, small scale projects in the horticulture, aquaculture and dairy sector that are financed by the Netherlands”, explains Irene Koomen, who is connected to the Wageningen broad project on behalf of the Centre for Development Innovation. The projects focus on small and medium scale producers. In the 3R Kenya project, Wageningen UR brings in expertise on sector analysis, innovation, multistakeholder processes, efficient and integrated chains and the circular economy.
Resilient, Robust, Reliable
The three agro sectors should become more Resilient, Robust and Reliable with regard to innovation, chains and governance, in order to be able to intensify the trade relations with Dutch businesses. Currently, the middle class and farmers profit little from innovation in Kenya. Koomen: “We aim to show what elements or links in the chain are missing. Solving these bottlenecks will enable the projects to change from aid to trade.”
In Kenya, also a close cooperation between government, businesses, NGOs and research institutions is necessary, says Jennie van der Mheen, manager international development Africa of Wageningen UR. “Of old, trade and industry have a strong position in Kenya. Policy makers can have an important role in taking away hindrances for innovation and transition, but they first must be willing to do so.” In her contribution at the round table meeting, Fresco highlighted the role of the ‘Dutch Diamond’ for innovation and transition. As it is important to share lessons and make up a collective agenda, a more dynamic ‘diamond’ is needed.
Among the projects that will be studied for the possibilities of scaling up are HortIMPACT (horticultural project in which Kenyan and Dutch horticulturalists work together and Wageningen UR is involved in) and the Kenya Market-led Dairy Programme (same in dairy). The Kenyan partners in 3R Kenya are Egerton University and the acquainted institute Tegemeo, TradeCare (consultancy), African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS, a think tank) and AgriProFocus (agro networking organisation). In the project, at least three PhD-students will be appointed.
The Dutch embassy in Kenya invests in food security in Kenya. The embassy makes 3R Kenya possible by an investment of almost 4 million Euros, for four years. In 2021 the bilateral aid relation with Kenya should have run down. The 3R-project in Kenya might lead the way for other countries and actors in designing the future bilateral relations and the transition from aid to trade.