A barrage of squawks greets Mercy Wairimu every time she steps into the two story chicken coop that stands in her backyard. The poultry farmer from Nakuru County in Kenya beams. The noise from her chickens, which number in the hundreds, reminds her of how far she’s come.
“I have been in this business for ten years now. I used to have a few small indigenous chickens here and there, running around my compound,” explains Mercy. “But then the Kenya Agricultural Productivity and Agribusiness Project (KAPAP) came. It expanded my mind and my business. I now have 1000 birds.”
The KAPAP is a Government of Kenya initiative supported by the World Bank whose aim is to improve agricultural productivity and the incomes of smallholders. It does so through a range of activities, including supporting research and developing agriculture value chains. Farmers have benefited from KAPAP’s provision of new technologies, improved market access and climate-smart agriculture approaches especially in dairy farming, potato and pea cropping, apiculture and poultry rearing, to name just a few. Some of the beneficiaries have even expanded their operations to practice more than one type of farming.
“Agriculture means jobs in Kenya. After all, more than 75% of Kenyans make a living in agriculture,” says Dina Umali-Deininger, Africa Practice Manager with the Agriculture Global Practice at the World Bank. “Supporting farmers so that they can earn good incomes and help build a sustainable, climate-smart food system is crucial to driving economic growth and boosting shared prosperity in Kenya.”