Publication Date

2011

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Jeff Unsicker

Abstract

In Kenya, food insecurity remains an enormous challenge. Each year, between one to four million people receive relief food from both the national government and donor agencies such as the World Food Program. This acute food insecurity has been exacerbated by the fact that in recent years, frequent and severe shocks to agricultural production systems including floods and droughts have had serious impacts especially in the arid and semi arid areas. Unfortunately, policy responses have almost always inclined towards responding to emergencies of food shortages, rather than on building systems to improve agricultural productivity that cushion people against these shocks- hence investment in agriculture has continued to decline.

This course-linked policy paper highlights the challenges and opportunities associated with designing and implementing a country-led approach to achieving food security in Kenya. The key policy arguments are presented based on the framework of the new U.S government’s global food security initiative called Feed the Future- which commits to five principles: country-ownership, strategic coordination within the government and among donors, comprehensiveness, a commitment to multilateral institutions, and a promise to deliver on sustained and accountable commitments.

Finally, this paper provides a set of recommendations that would contribute towards the much needed advocacy and research on how to best implement Feed the Future in the Kenya in order to achieve its goal of increasing food security in the country. The arguments in this paper are informed by a number of sources through which I gathered information. I have applied my professional experiences on agricultural policy issues, as well as extensive reading on the factors that challenge agricultural productivity in the country. Consultations with fellow policy advocates, government officials, agricultural research institutions and a field visit to Kenya helped to shape the policy arguments presented in this paper.

Disciplines

Agricultural and Resource Economics | Agriculture | Growth and Development | Inequality and Stratification | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Work, Economy and Organizations

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