Project: Cassava Supply Value Chain in Ganze sub-county, Kilifi County, Kenya

This site is dedicated to document the progress of the Cassava Value Chain Project in partnership with the Chemi Chemi Organization.

Relevance and justification of the Project

Global sustainable development goal 1 and 2 provides for ending poverty for everyone and zero hunger. Kenya's Vision 2020 under economic pillar prioritizes agriculture as one of the key drivers for economic development employment creation. Kilifi County population as per the 2019 census stands at 1.43 million while the Ganze Sub-county population stands at 143,906.

Ganze sub-county is one of the marginalized rural areas in Kenya characterized by poor infrastructure, poor rainfall patterns, and high poverty index. Ganze is a semi-arid land that suffers water shortage. The marginalized communities rely on relief food and water pans constructed to harvest rainwater during the rainy season.

Communities in Ganze district live mostly on subsistence farming, however frequent

droughts lead to reduced realization of their farm labor productivity, creating deep-rooted poverty cycles, high school drop-out rate, teenage pregnancies, poor nutrition, increased child labor, early marriages, sexual exploitation, and increased incidences of HIV/AIDS among other health problems. The most important food crops grown in the district are maize, cassava, cowpeas, and green grams. Cassava presents itself as an obvious target for intervention if the farming populations in Ganze are to improve cash flow within the community and consequently promote access to reasonable living standards.

Subsistence agriculture occupies 80.6% of the population of Ganze District. The weight of subsistence production in the society of the Ganze District and the persisting production of maize as the main staple food bring the population to be particularly prone to the effects of erratic rainfalls and climate change. Farmers have experienced reduced yields leading to food insecurity in the county.

On average, the percentage of children suffering from malnutrition in the Ganze District ranges from 6% to 9% but it peaks up to around 20% in the ranching zone during prolonged droughts.

Specific problems to be addressed by the project

Food insecurity is a major challenge in the Ganze sub-county. The majority of the citizenry live in abject poverty below 1.25 dollars a day. The unreliable rainfall patterns affect food production throughout the year making the vulnerable communities depend on relief food. Water shortages and poor infrastructure hinders accessibility to the region. Water harvested in water pans during the rainy season is not good for human consumption even though in the worst-case scenario the local communities have no option but to consume the water for domestic purposes. Additionally, the harvested water is not adequate for irrigation to enhance adequate food production.

High illiteracy levels, high population rate at 3.05% per annum, high incidence poverty rates currently at 84%, retrogressive cultural practices, and beliefs are some of the underlying causes.

Target groups and ultimate beneficiaries

The project targets subsistence farmers in Ganze, Vitengeni, and Bamba locations which include women, men, and youth. The ultimate beneficiaries are the family members of respective farmers and the community at large.

Description of the project, and its effectiveness (project design)

The proposed project is designed to address immediate food insecurity (food shortage) at the household level, improve the cassava value chain, and promote value addition aimed at creating employment opportunities for youth. Other crops earmarked are green grams and cowpeas which will boost nutrition for communities in this region.

The proposed project also has earmarked strategic areas in the respective location to sink boreholes and water storage tanks for human consumption. The proposed project will be implemented in close collaboration with the Ministry of Interior and coordination of national government; the County government; the local community structures and smallholder farmers in the regions; Research students from high learning institutions, research institutions; private institutions and civil society organizations. The proposed project will also upscale and build on the results of a previous project implemented by CAST NGO through funding from the European Union "Re-introduction and Commercialization of Cassava for improved Livelihoods through Whole Value Chain Model”