Kenya Maize Development Program
KMDP is helping smallholder maize farmers to become more effective.
Project Duration and Budget
2002 – 2010
Total Budget: over 11 million dollars
Who implements KMDP?
Maize is the foundation staple in the Kenyan diet, with a per capita consumption of 98 kilograms. Yet, the price of maize in Kenya is among the highest in eastern and southern Africa. The lowest income quartile of the Kenyan population spends 28% of its income on maize.
Maize farming in Kenya has been a deeply rooted “cultural practice” for many years with declining commercial appeal. This trend is attributable to poor quality seed, low utilization of improved practices, debilitated government extension services, use of inappropriate or inadequate fertilizers, and poor access by smallholders to markets, weak producer organizations and weak human resource capacities.
The inefficient maize production marketing system has contributed to economic stagnation and worsening levels of poverty in Kenya. Increased productivity, more efficient markets, and rational government policies can dramatically alter the economic contribution of the maize sub-sector – from being a drag on the economy to becoming a key element in accelerated growth and poverty reduction.
Where does KMDP work?
Rift Valley, Central Province, Eastern Province & Western Province
What does KMDP do?
- Increases the production of maize in target areas.
- Trains farmers on improved maize crop management (planting, weeding and post harvest handling) through demonstrations.
- Provides business development services such as business skills, marketing, access to credit and inputs, use of inputs, transport, storage etc.
- Increases the effectiveness of smallholder organizations to provide business services to their members.
- Increases agricultural trade to domestic, regional and international markets.
How is KMDP making a difference?
KMDP has increased incomes of smallholder maize farmers. Through KMDP interventions, farmers have seen their incomes grow from an average of $254 per year in 2004 to $891 per year in 2009.
KMDP has also helped farmers become more resistance to drought. Kenya has had three droughts in the past decade. Farmers practicing conservation tillage achieved consistent yields despite the drought period of 2008/9.
- Organized business fairs, field days, stakeholder workshops and trainings which reached an estimated 370,000 farmers enabling farmers interact directly with private sector
- Increased smallholder yields from a baseline output per unit of 8 bags an acre to an average yield of 32 bags an acre
- With cell phone service provider Safaricom, developed SMS Sokoni, a mobile phone-based market price discovery and market access portal receiving over 400 hits a day
- Developed an SMS and interactive radio response-based Farmer Helpline. The systems database includes GPS-referenced information on farmer enterprise status, soil type, farm size, phone contacts, sales, varieties etc.
- Over 100,000 farmers have completed the project-designed training course in Farming as a Family Business. The training provides practical information on how to use improved varieties of seed and fertilizer, conservation tillage and other natural resource management practices.
- Over 400,000 farmers have visited project demonstration plots that feature better agronomic practices in western Kenya and the Rift Valley region.
- Launched the Kenya Maize Handbook providing information on everything to do with Maize farming in Kenya