Ambassador’s Speech at USAID-KAVES Close-out Ceremony

Ambassador’s Speech

Kenya Agricultural Value Chain Enterprises Project Close-out Ceremony
December 13, 2017

 

Honorable CS of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries, Willy Bett;

Chairperson, Agriculture Committee in the Council of Governors, H.E. Hon. Okoth Obado;

Development partners;

Ladies and gentlemen;

 

Mabibi na Mabwana!

Hamjambo!

Habari Zenu?

 

I am proud to be standing here, sharing what we have achieved together with USAID’s flagship agricultural activity, the Kenya Agricultural Value Chain Enterprises project (known, in short, as USAID-KAVES).

 

This project is part of our huge Feed the Future initiative.  As with all of its development assistance, the U.S. government works in close partnership with the Government of Kenya, the private sector, civil society, and other development institutions. 

 

Together we are improving food security and nutrition by focusing on agriculture.  This is important because, despite our collective progress in global food security and nutrition, an estimated 800 million people around the world are chronically undernourished.

 

But Kenya is making strides.  I have witnessed Kenya’s agriculture sector playing a vital role in the economy.  Most importantly, I’ve seen progress in Kenyan farmers feeding Kenyan citizens. 

 

In 2017 alone, Feed the Future in Kenya reached more than 1 million smallholder farmers and almost 340,000 small and medium enterprises with business support.  As a result, these smallholder farmers generated over 20 billion KSH in sales of livestock, milk, food staples, and horticultural crops.

 

In addition, Feed the Future spurred growth all along the agricultural value chains by helping rural farmers and agricultural innovators gain access to 2.5 billion KSH in loans.

 

KAVES worked with more than half a million smallholder farmers, businesses, and with national and county governments to address constraints that affect the entire supply chains across multiple sectors.  As an example, Kenya’s dairy sector alone supports 1.8 million smallholder farmers.  Investments in the dairy sector have improved the quality and quantity of milk reaching the market, and as a result, the sector has created many jobs.

 

It is partly because of the success of KAVES that, last month, Kenya was selected to be one of the 12 target countries to benefit from a renewed commitment to Feed the Future as part of our Global Food Security Strategy.  Through this global strategy, the U.S. government will continue to work for inclusive agriculture-led economic growth in Kenya.  We believe that small-scale producers have enormous potential to be both the leaders and beneficiaries of this growth, and that engaging with youth in agriculture is foundational to this goal.

 

The U.S. government will build on the successes of the KAVES project as we continue to partner with national and county governments to boost the competitiveness of Kenya’s dairy, horticulture, and livestock sectors.

 

During this conference and afterwards, I hope all of you will share your successes, and plan how to improve this country’s agricultural sector.  An improved agriculture sector is the key to a successful, prosperous, and food secure Kenya.

 

Pamoja tusonge mbele.

 

Asanteni sana.