Institutional Framework for Ecological Organic Agriculture Development in Kenya

Kenya is a densely populated country with over 50 million inhabitants. Its population is growing very fast and may reach more than 100 million people by the year 2055. Over 50% of the country’s population are farmers, but only one fifth of the land is used for agriculture. Increased population pressure has led to land fragmentation which is a major threat to efficient production systems. Farming is mostly run by women who comprise 80% of farmers. Kenya’s rapidly growing population faces many health and nutrition challenges. Drought and other factors are contributing to undernourishment and hunger. More and more citizens, particularly city dwellers, are struggling with obesity caused by highly refined foods. This situation is further exacerbated by added sugars, salts, and fats, which are linked to negative health impacts. The agriculture sector in the country is facing many challenges caused largely by conventional agriculture which has led to soil degradation and increased chemical pollution as well as increased diseases to humans and biodiversity loss. Organic agriculture has been touted to be the best option for enhancing agricultural sustainability and has been advocated by African leaders. This Policy Brief was developed from a study conducted using mixed approaches. First, a comprehensive desk study was conducted where existing literature on all policies, strategies and institutional frameworks relevant to EOA in Kenya were reviewed. Secondly, Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) were conducted with the identified EOA stakeholders at the national level targeting policymakers, researchers, non-governmental bodies, private sector, traders and individual actors among others. Finally, Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were conducted with selected stakeholders to triangulate the data and information on EOA-related policies, strategies and institutional frameworks in the country.