Naivasha, Kenya – 31st October, 2023
The African Union-InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) is set to launch its Inception Workshop and assessments for the Resilient African Feed and Fodder Systems Project (RAFFS) in Naivasha, Kenya, today.
Kenya, like its regional counterparts, is currently facing tremendous challenges in its feed and fodder sector, which have profound implications for food and nutrition security. With an ever-growing population and diverse livestock production systems, Kenya faces a significant challenge to meet the feed demands of its livestock. The availability of feed is a key factor in ensuring the well-being of livestock, and subsequently, food security for the country.
The nation grapples with a staggering 60 % feed deficit, resulting in a significant shortfall of approximately 2.6 billion bales of feed. Furthermore, it faces a 46% post-harvest loss. The country is however, actively exploring multifaceted interventions aimed at boosting production, enhancing storage capabilities, and adding value to agricultural products. These efforts are pivotal in addressing food security concerns and advancing sustainable agricultural practices.
Tackling the significant feed gaps in Kenya requires a multifaceted approach that incorporates technical solutions, institutional building, and policy interventions. Initiatives such as the National Fodder Conference, National Feed Balance, and County Feed Strategic Planning play critical roles in bridging the feed deficit. Collaborative efforts among stakeholders are considered instrumental in achieving a robust and sustainable feed industry, ensuring food security and resilience in Kenya's vital livestock sector
The Livestock Masterplan plays a critical role in informing targeted interventions for the livestock sector. The livestock industry's substantial contributions to GDP, local revenue generation, and employment opportunities underscore its critical importance to the national economy, particularly in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) regions.
Experts, government representatives, and stakeholders will this week discuss strategies, investment areas, and value chains that can contribute to sustainable feed production and food security. The discussions aim to address the challenges faced by Kenya's feed industry and provide actionable strategies to ensure food security and livestock well-being.
The RAFFS Project seeks to respond to challenges posed by the triple C crises: Covid-19, Climate Change, and the Conflict between Russia and Ukraine. These crises have resulted in substantial livestock losses, particularly in the greater Horn of Africa, affecting livelihoods, incomes, and the affordability of essential livestock-sourced foods.
Inception Workshop and National Launch: The Inception Workshop in Kenya will be the fourth to be held in the RAFFS Project six core AU member states: Uganda, Nigeria, Somalia, Zimbabwe and Cameroon. These events will involve key stakeholders presenting preliminary findings from surveys, launching the project officially, and introducing the African Women in Animal Resources Farming and Agribusiness Network (AWARFA-N) to enhance women's participation in the feed and fodder sector.
The country-level assessments are expected to yield insights into the impact of crises on feed and fodder systems, digital capacities, women's inclusion, and policy frameworks. National Assessment teams will be trained on field assessment tasks, data compilation, training on financial inclusion and business formalization will be part of the meetings. Effective participation of AWARFA-N in the RAFFS Project is a key highlight of the week-long event. These meetings will be held with high level stakeholders from the public and private sector and Ministers in charge of Livestock will lead government discussions.
The RAFFS Project focuses on four key objectives: Establishing a knowledge and analytical ecosystem for evidence-based solutions. Supporting business models and partnerships to address short-term feed and fodder shortages. Empowering women in feed and fodder systems and reforming policies and regulations to build a sustainable feed and fodder industry.
AWARFA-N was launched in July 2018, supported by the AU-IBAR and funded by the European Union. AWARFA-N consists of continental, regional, and national chapters, focusing on empowering women involved in animal resource value chains. The Nigerians chapter will be officially launched today.
Critical issues faced by women in the livestock sector revolve around their constrained access to appropriate, long-term financing solutions tailored to their unique requirements. Women play pivotal roles in our society, serving as the bedrock for resilience through their functions in reproduction, nurturing, caregiving, and productivity. These multifaceted roles significantly contribute to individual, household, and community income, foster economic expansion, ensure food security, and enhance the well-being of children.
AWARFA- N seeks to enhance women's participation and benefits across animal resource value chains, including feed and fodder, women aspire to expand beyond subsistence livestock keeping into commercial ventures at various scales.
AU-IBAR operates as a technical office within the African Union Commission, with a core mission to support African Union member states in harnessing the potential of animals for human well-being and economic development. The organization plays a pivotal role in coordinating and advancing livestock development across the continent.
Note to Editors:
For additional information, please visit AU-IBARs website on RAFFS
For more project information contact Dr. Sarah Ashanut Ossiya - firstname.lastname@example.org
For communications and media inquiries, contact: Fiona Imbali- email@example.com