Building National Capacity for Integrated Agricultural Research for Development (IAR4D) in Kenya
In 2004, the Kenyan government launched its 2004-2014 Strategy for Revitalising Agriculture (SRA), which has the objective "to provide a policy and institutional environment that is conducive to increasing agricultural productivity, promoting investments, encouraging private sector involvement in agricultural enterprises and agribusiness".
To operationalise this strategy, the government, with support from the World Bank, initiated the Kenya Agricultural Productivity Project (KAPP), a multi-sectoral and multi-institutional project with the long-term objective of increasing agricultural productivity and contributing to the SRA through four components: policy and institutional reforms, extension system reform, research system reform and farmer/client empowerment.
The objective of the research system component is "to reform the agricultural research sub-sector so that it encompasses a plurality of actors to enhance efficiency and accountability". Similarly, as outlined in the 2005 National Agricultural Sector Extension Policy (NASEP), the main challenges in extension management and extension services include "managing pluralistic extension services for effective service delivery" and "creating functioning institutional frameworks for stakeholder coordination and linkages".
Further stimulated by the adoption of IAR4D as a new way of undertaking agricultural research and development in Sub-Sahara Africa by the CGIAR SSA-Challenge Programme, and by the experience of the IAR4D capacity building partnership in Uganda, the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), together with Egerton and Kenyatta Universities, expressed renewed interest in expanding collaboration with ICRA in 2004. The resulting initiative has since expanded to also include the University of Nairobi (UoN) and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), as well as the Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers (KENFAP), the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Livestock and Fishery Development.
The resulting “Integrated Agricultural Research for Development” (IAR4D) initiative, aims to:
- Build a critical mass of agricultural research, extension and education/training personnel in IAR4D concepts, approaches and methods (training of trainers);
- Facilitate integration of IAR4D concepts, approaches and methods into the national agricultural research, extension and education systems;
- Promote national and regional networking of IAR4D actors.
Achievements to date
- An informal inter-institutional task force, with representation from all partners, has been established to coordinate inputs to the IAR4D initiative.
- A national “core team” of IAR4D facilitators has been formed, and strengthened through the participation of thirteen representatives from the partner institutions on the 2005 and 2006 ICRA Anglophone Programmes in The Netherlands.
- As part of the 2005 Anglophone Programme, and in partnership with NARO, Uganda, the five Kenyan participants carried out a study of the potential for the apple production and marketing system in Kabale, S.W. Uganda. As part of the 2006 Programme, the team initiated a pilot IAR4D learning site in Katulani, Kitui District in Kenya, centred on the management of water for domestic and agricultural use, and the horizontal and vertical linkages between key stakeholders needed to support development of this resource.
- In addition, the core team and the task force drafted a concept note for “Capacity building in Integrated Agricultural Research for Development (IAR4D) in Kenya” as the basis for a national IAR4D plan. The task force is currently seeking funds to implement this plan.
- In 2007, an institutional engagement study was initiated and a synthesis report prepared based on a questionnaire administered with all member organisations.
- The IAR4D Inititative held a workshop at Egerton University in 2007 to initiate the process of curriculum change and the preparation of adapting learning materials. The 4 universities reported on the design of a curriculum for an IAR4D post-graduate diploma and a series of short courses for current rural development practicioners.
- The 4 universities of the Kenya Initiative, Makerere University, and ICRA, in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), join in the Edulink-funded SUCAPRI programme that took off early 2008. A first workshop of a series of four (university-based learning cycle) was organised early September 2008. The remaining three will follow in 2009.
- A senior policy level workshop was held on 17 July 2008 at KARI headquarters (documents presented can be downloaded in the right hand column).
- In 2009, emphasis was placed on transforming the informal Task Force and Core Team which have coordinated and implemented the initiative activities since its initiation in 2004 into a more formal and permanent arrangement. Proposals for an association called “Platform for Integrated Agricultural Research for Development, P-IAR4D” were drafted and are being circulated.
An evaluation of Katulani as an IAR4D national pilot learning site is planned late 2009, and will involve both grass-root stakeholders at the site location and national organisations.
Also planned for late 2009 is a workshop to follow-up on the need for development of learning materials. The workshop will train the persons nominated for the development of particular learning resources on the use the Kenya IAR4D website, preparation of materials, editing, and management of the learning resources portal.
- Kenyan partners participated fully in the two new programmes offered by ICRA in 2009: The Exchange tour on ARD/IAR4D for senior managers (4 participants) and the workshops on Design and Management of Learning Programmes for rural innovation (6 participants). Participation in these two programmes has strengthened both individual and organisational commitment to the IAR4D partnership initiative.
- In 2010, the Core Team of IAR4D facilitators includes 18 persons from the different member organizations; they coordinate IAR4D actions between the different member organisations and implement joint activities. During 2010, the Core Team established the Forum for Integrated Agricultural Research for Development (FIARD), to further promote and implement IAR4D activities.
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PartnersKenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI)University of Nairobi (UoN)Egerton University (EU)Kenyatta University (KU)Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT)
Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers (KENFAP) The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA)
)The Ministry of Livestock and Fishery Development (MoLFD)
Field ReportsKABALE APPLES: BOOM OR BURST
- Strategies to exploit market opportunities for apple farmers in Kabale, Uganda, 2005
A case study of Katulani location water situation, Kitui District, 2006
Strengthening the mango value chain, Mbeere District
Documents Senior Policy level W/sh KARI HQ 17 July 2008
Contribution R. Booth (ppt, 193K)
, The ICRA connection
Contribution Christine Onyango (ppt, 77K)
, Concepts and perceptions of IAR4D
Contribution George Chemining'wa (ppt, 43K)
, National IAR4D Plan
Contribution Gitonga M. Nkanata (ppt, 60K)
, Institutional Study
Contribution George M. Karanja (ppt, 96K)
, IAR4D, Options for organisational structure
Flyer IAR4D George M. Karanja (pdf, 307K)
Contribution Samual Mwonga (ppt, 171K)
, Facilitating rural innovation & building partnerships; curricula for post-graduate diplomas & short courses for rural development practicioners
Contribution George SUCAPRI-EDULINK (pdf, 957K)
IAR4D Kenya, overview and National IAR4D Plan (pdf, 3631K)