Kenya Drylands Livestock Development Program


From 2010 to 2013, the USAID-funded Kenya Drylands Livestock Development Program (KDLDP) addressed obstacles facing pastoralists in northeastern Kenya. USAID awarded KDLDP to CNFA through the Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Leader with Associate Award (LWA) mechanism. With a total budget of approximately $10 million, the program’s main objective was to increase income and food security for pastoralist households in the districts of Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Ijara, and Tana River.

Pastoralists in northeastern Kenya face obstacles such as poor access to inputs like animal feed and water, limited access to vaccines, poor linkages between producers and markets, and a lack of price transparency in their local markets. To address these problems, CNFA focused on the entire livestock value chain, connected herders to markets, credit services, and livestock health inputs while also working to improve the policies that affect pastoralists. We worked with key local partners like the Kenya Livestock Marketing Council (KLMC) and our Kenyan affiliate, the Agricultural Marketing Development Trust (AGMARK), to address short-term issues facing pastoralists and to lay a foundation for long-term, sustainable development.

KDLDP integrated cross-cutting themes such as gender, youth, and adaptation to climate change. The Project undertook baseline studies, including Household Income Surveys, a Gender Analysis study, and Environment Impact Assessments. These studies and assessments helped to inform local policy and support the continuity of future development initiatives in KDLDP’s target regions.

Program Approach:

Enhance Livestock Trade and Marketing: CNFA mobilized several groups including Livestock Marketing Associations (LMAs) to form larger, more commercially-oriented associations of producer groups called Pastoralist Marketing Clusters (PMCs). The formation of PMCs helped pastoralists benefit from collective purchasing and marketing. PMC employees received Business Management Training (BMT) to improve the groups’ negotiation, documentation, record keeping and bookkeeping skills. Recognizing that cultural implication would not allow the Muslim population in the area to access traditional banking loans, the program created the Community Owned Finance Institution (COFI), Kenya’s first Sharia-compliant Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (SACCOS). KDLDP also significantly contributed to the National Livestock Market Information Systems (NLMIS) by providing weekly information from different markets within the program area. Key information generated from the data collected was broadcasted through the Wajir Community Radio and the Star FM radio stations.

Livestock Product Value Addition: Our team identified initiatives which greatly improved the livelihoods of communities in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) areas. Program staff worked with local groups to produce and market value-added products for niche markets, to identify new market opportunities, conduct studies of new enterprises, support the financing of viable enterprises via grants and guaranteed loans, and to support improved performance of existing enterprises.

Increase Livestock Productivity and Competitiveness: The Business Management Training (BMT) component of KDLDP equipped agro-dealers with the skills and knowledge to appropriately manage and stock their enterprises professionally, and to disseminate the techniques to pastoralists. CNFA also strengthened the ability of Kenya’s Ministry of Livestock Development (MoLD) to implement disease surveillance and better control livestock movements.

Facilitate Marketing and Livestock Development through Policy Change: KDLDP held policy dialogue meetings to discuss issues, build consensus, and prepare memoranda detailing constraints and policy suggestions related to livestock development. Our team hosted multiple activities to further develop the capacity of the District Livestock Marketing Council (DLMC) and to equip pastoralists’ representatives with the necessary skills to actively participate in policy processes and to advocate on behalf of their constituents.

Promote Strategies to Mitigate the Effects of Climate Change: KDLDP equipped pastoralists with skills to combat disease epidemics that derive from climate change and more severe weather. The program provided support to the expansion of water harvesting and the mainstreaming of Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction (CMDRR) in all program activities. In addition, KDLDP supported vaccination programs in areas where flooding may trigger Rift Valley Fever (RVF) and Hemorrhagic Septicaemia.

Program Impacts:

  • $87,209 in Agricultural Rural Loans Extended;
  • 9,031 individuals that received Ag-Sector Training;
  • 25,439 households that directly benefited from USG interventions;
  • $1.2 million in vaccinations administered to Cattle, Shoats, and Donkeys;
  • 225 enterprises and associations that received matching grants.