Finance Innovation for Climate Change Fund

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Piloting CSA through a private sector approach in Kenya

Finance Innovation for Climate Change Fund, or FICCF, through its Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) Component, contracted four Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and supported them with repayable grants to invest in a pilot scaling up/out of CSA involving sorghum/legume intercrops, cassava/legume intercrops, smallholder dairy systems, indigenous chicken systems and their corresponding value chains. The MFIs that successfully emerged through the competitive process include Rafiki MF Bank, ECLOF MFI, Century DTM Bank and Inuka Africa MFI. Each MFI works with partners, which include farmer aggregators and index insurance companies to contract farmers to produce and then link them to markets.

Downscaling of seasonal weather forecasts to the specific counties and the various agro-ecological (and agro-climatic) zones are an essential aspect of the program’s technical support services component. FICCF has also separately contracted a climate information service provider, ACRE Africa, for downscaled weather information and agro weather advisory services to farmers and other actors, and an ICT platform service provider to capture all the data related to the farmers profile, farm profile, weather, farm production, and market linkages. The contracted climate information service provider works in partnership with Kenya Meteorological Department/Services, or KMD/KMS, to deliver downscaled seasonal weather forecasting to ensure that the appropriate agro-weather advisories are available. The MFI partnerships also have access to index based insurance initiatives for local weather and for area yields. All partners hold at least two (community (field) agro-weather advisory workshops with contracted farmers every season to disseminate this information, once at the beginning to plan the season and the other at the end to review the season and plan for the next. Weather information (in the form of alerts and notifications) is also communicated to contracted farmers via the IT platform and/or local vernacular radio stations. It is expected that this downscaling will increase adaptive capacity and resilience especially for crop-­based interventions and to some extent for dairy forage production and herd reduction with increased productivity.

Technical support services are provided to accompany and to support the climate information services. These involve building the capacity of farmers to increase their resilience in the areas of soil and water management, increasing on-farm tree and vegetation/soil cover, recycling residues and reducing emissions as a co-benefit. The process provides learning points for private sector involvement in CSA among smallholder farmers, and documents the lessons from across the MFI contracts. The partners are improving their current interventions through Climate Smart Initiatives that will go a long way in improving productivity, reducing emissions and increasing efficiency and resilience.

 

 

 

Copyright FICCF 2014.

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