The primary intervention for addressing smallholder agriculture yield gaps is improving coverage of public extension services and access to improved and appropriate inputs.
There are over 5.6 million farming households in Kenya tilling 89% of agricultural land for subsistence purposes. These households make up 91% of all farming households in Kenya. The challenge of addressing food and nutrition security can therefore only be addressed if these households are able to produce enough food for subsistence.
About the Extension Support Program
The Extension Support Program provides evidence-informed interventions that help governments and communities address the yield gaps experienced by smallholder farmers. Through projects like the Village Based Advisors, that address the coverage one extension services, and partnerships with inputs companies that ensure new and improved technologies are available, we make it possible to close that gap and address household food insecurity.
The primary intervention for dealing with the yield gap is improving coverage of public extension services. Unfortunately in Kenya, with low spending in the agriculture sector (less than 6% of budget) very little support goes to extension services resulting in a very high extension to farmer ratio and only 21% of farmers reporting to have had an interaction with extension services from the public sector.
The objectives of the program are therefore to:
- Provide evidence to inform decisions by the public sector in support of new methods or inputs by smallholder farmers along priority commodity value chains.
- Provide technology infrastructure to improve data collection and the relationships between various actors in commodity value chains.
- Provide advisory and technical support to governments for expansion of extension service coverage for food security critical value chains.