UNDFF-YenKasa Africa Radio initiative in Kenya

UNDFF-YenKasa Africa Radio initiative in Kenya

Kenya – Ruben Fm and Koch FM

Program Title: Drought and Climate change 

Production Language: Kiswahili and Sheng

In recent decades, extreme weather events have increased in frequency, intensity and magnitude, threatening and increasing the vulnerability of rural livelihoods, particularly in the drier parts of the country. Some of Kenya’s most experienced climate events are drought, crop diseases and floods. Livelihood aspects greatly impacted by climate change events include food shortages, increased food prices, decreased water availability and uncertainties for long-term investments like planting trees. Women and youth are disproportionately affected by CC due to the nature of their gender roles and limited access to resources. 

Climate change is impacting agriculture and forestry in Kenya, and in the future, the problem is likely to get worse.  According to scientists at the World Agroforestry Centre, on-farm forestry, or the intentional use of trees in the cropping system, has proven effective in mitigating and adapting to climate risks. Communities also have indigenous climate change knowledge that has been passed through generations. This demonstrates that while smallholder farmers stand to suffer the most from climate change, they also hold great potential to help address this problem. 

Program Title:  Financial Inclusion 

Production Language: Kiswahili and Sheng

Access to rural financial services has the potential to make a difference in agricultural productivity, food security and poverty reduction. However, an efficient, sustainable and widely accessible rural financial system remains a major development challenge even in Kenya. From late 1990 to the 2000s, it was mainly mainstream commercial banks that operated and a large majority of Kenyans, especially smallholder rural dwellers, had zero access to these. While the situation has changed and many financial institutions and services have come up, most Kenyans, especially rural women and youth, have challenges accessing financial services.  FFSPAK Promotes Village Savings and loaning Associations and Microinsurance among farmers as these are affordable, accessible and socially beneficial means of ensuring that farmers can save, borrow and invest in their families and enterprises. Women have embraced this model, clearly demonstrating the need for affordable, accessible and relatable financial services. Capacity building in financial management is also important to ensure money earned, saved or borrowed is put to good use.

Program Title: Collective marketing and benefits of Cooperatives 

Production Language: Kiswahili and Sheng

An agricultural cooperative is a formal form of farmer collective action for the purpose of marketing and processing farm products and or for the purchase and production of farm inputs. The main aim of establishing a cooperative is to increase members’ production and incomes by helping better link them with finance, agricultural inputs, information, and output markets. Collective action is the core resource of agricultural cooperatives. 

Cooperatives create social relations that enable individuals to achieve goals that they may not otherwise be able to achieve by themselves. For example, cooperatives can help farmers benefit from economies of scale by lowering their costs of acquiring inputs or hiring services such as storage and transport. Agricultural cooperatives also enable farmers to improve product and service quality and reduce risks. 

FSPAK has promoted cooperatives, with 7 Forest based Cooperatives established in the last 8 years. These cooperatives have changed how farmers interact with other players in the value chain. To survive in the free Market economy, smallholder farmers can only look to collective action.  

Program Title: Sustainable Agriculture and Land Management (SALM)

Production Language: Kiswahili and Sheng

Terr Africa (2005) defines SLM as “the adoption of land-use systems that through appropriate management practices enable land users to maximize the economic and social benefits from the land while maintaining or enhancing the ecological support functions of the land resources”. The interaction between land resources, climate and human activities determines the productivity and sustainability of a land-use system. Especially in the face of climate change and variability, selecting the right land uses for given biophysical and socio-economic conditions, and implementing SLM, are essential for minimizing land degradation, rehabilitating degraded land, ensuring the sustainable use of land resources (i.e. soils, water and biodiversity) and maximizing resilience. 

FFSPAK has been promoting SALM for the past 10 years with demonstrable benefits to its members. SALM is especially important for farmers affected or likely to be affected by climate change.

Program Title: Role of FFO in Advocacy, especially within Governments and implementation of NAP

Production Language: English

Farmer organizations play an important role in improving access to input and output markets, access and management to natural resources, improving knowledge and information, and advocating for policy change through engaged discussions in policy-making processes and reviewing legislative frameworks. Farmers in developing countries, mostly working on small-scale, family farms, have long borne the brunt of the government’s mis- and under-investment in smallholder agriculture/Forestry. Lack of access to natural resources, inappropriate policies, thin and uncompetitive markets, weak rural infrastructure, inadequate production and financial services, and a deteriorating natural resource base has created an environment in which farming has frequently been risky and unprofitable for smallholders. 

Farmer organizations, especially apex/umbrella organizations, have advocacy as one of their core mandates. The influence of Policies, legislation and other aspects that affect farmers depends on how well they are organized and how recognizable/influential they are.