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Heifer's Work in Kenya

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State of the African Farmer

The State of the African Farmer report has been produced as a contribution to the great debate on agriculture and food security in Africa. It is a compilation of views and voices of farmers, practitioners, policymakers and academics across Africa and beyond, each speaking from the heart and sharing their experience.

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Country Overview

Ngurunit, Kenya, a boy feeds his camel.

The Republic of Kenya is an East African nation that lies on the equator and is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south east, Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, South Sudan to the north west, Ethiopia to the north and Somalia to the north east. Kenya’s climate ranges from tropical to arid.

Due to inefficient farming practices and lack of access to markets, food security remains a major developmental issue for Kenya.

About 24 percent of the GDP is attributed to agriculture. However, due to inefficient farming practices and lack of access to markets, food security remains a major developmental issue. A little more than half of the population lives below the poverty line and much of the population is dependent on food aid.

Heifer Kenya

Heifer International Kenya was established in 1981.  Heifer Kenya targets locations with large populations of small-scale dairy farmers in the Rift Valley and Central Kenya as well as Western and Nyanza provinces. Heifer Kenya also focuses on areas with a high number of orphans and vulnerable children, particularly those with HIV/AIDS. There is also a focus on the pastoralist regions that are suffering from the effects of climate change.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Heifer provides training and livestock to farmers.  Heifer Kenya also works with other NGO’s to provide leadership, record keeping and group management training to self-help groups.

Heifer Kenya is a part of the East Africa Dairy Development project, which was initiated in 2008 as a four-year, $50 million project funded by the Gates Foundation to help 180,000 smallholder dairy farmer families to double their household income, create, connect and expand dairy market infrastructure and sustainably increase dairy productivity and efficiency.