Author: James Wangu (Utrecht University)
Date: March 2020
Like many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya grapples with the problem of food and nutrition insecurity. In light of these circumstances, several smallholders’ targeted inclusive business (IB) initiatives by the Kenyan government and development agencies have been implemented, and others are underway across the country.
The rationale behind inclusive agribusiness is that smallholders are unable to participate in and benefit from commercial value chains owing primarily to production means inadequacies and low productivity. Inclusive businesses promise to foster a win-win outcome for both smallholder and businesses. Despite the increased popularity among governments, donors and other development stakeholders, little is known about the impact of inclusive business on local communities. The studies in this brief highlight a discrepancy between the aim of the agribusiness and the local needs.
Inclusive agribusiness initiatives that aim to enhance smallholder food security through increased income should be accompanied by policies that targets the poor social services, particularly health, education and skills training, which tend to compete with food security. Moreover, land use and access to land resources such as irrigation are critical for smallholder food security. Business actors should ensure that where farmers are operating with small portions of farm plots, it is important that they are able to keep a proportion of their plots for own consumption next to the cash crop.
Read the policy brief here!