Kenya has enormous agricultural potential, yet currently faces significant domestic deficit in crops such as sorghum and soya bean. Value chains of these crops are inefficient, rainfall-dependent, underproductive, unorganised and limited in scale. Farmer organisations in staple crops are frequently fragmented, fraught with mismanagement and generate low levels of trust amongst farmers, as well as between farmers and value chain actors. At the same time, there are buyers, input providers, financial and insurance markets with strong appetites for larger customer bases. Sustainable engagement with smallholders is limited due to “last mile” problems and insufficient knowledge and tools to perform as credible business players. Smallholder farmers in Kenya are often unable to take up the opportunities to improve their livelihoods.
As the newest addition to the FtMA country portfolio, the Kenya team is ambitiously expanding to reach thousands of farmers across 14 different farming regions. FtMA is customizing the model from other countries through tailored solutions to address numerous Kenya-specific challenges. For example, loan facilitation and contracting are conducted with individual farmers, due to the current informal and unstructured nature of farmer organizations in the country. FtMA Kenya seeks to bridge the gap between farmers and key value chain actors, through building increased trust and transparency amongst all takeholders.