Establishment of Kenya National Agricultural Innovation Systems

{jathumbnail off}{jcomments off}Since the last decade, many of the world’s economies have been faced with food crisis,characterised by high food prices and food shortages year after year. African countries are among the worst hit, where most of the poor people suffer from silent food problems. This is partly due to unequal distribution of the available food supplies, which breeds dual economies; one that is wellfed while the other is languishing in hunger and poverty (Reutlinger, 1977). Food security has also been threatened by heightening production costs, lower farmer prices and the international financial crisis.

This, coupled with climatic change has led to reduction in the production of some staple foodcrops such as maize in Southern Africa, a situation which would lead to deeper and more widespread food crisis (Brink, 2008). Global food crisis has led to much debate and extended discussions at the international frontiers onhow best to address it. Various approaches have been designed and implemented both at national and international levels. For instance, in 2008 the G8 member countries committed themselves to partner with Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in efforts to reverse the decline in agricultural productivity since most of African economies are agriculture-based (Los Angeles CA,2008).

Other suggested efforts include designing and implementing a commercial agricultural alliance forAfrica which would partner with development partners in efforts aimed at attaining food security and empowering farmers (Brink, 2008). Southern Africa has developed one such platform, Food,Agricultural and National Resource Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) which uses an interactive approach in tapping new and existing innovations to address macro-economic issues.

One such innovation is the Agricultural Input Subsidy Program (AISP) in Malawi which has turned the food crisis into an opportunity for economically empowering farmers and ensuring there is sufficient food for the households (FANRPAN, 2008). This initiative has been rated as a success due to prevailing good policies in Malawi, along with the interactive nature of the programme and the adoption of value chain approach. In this context the value chain approach will be used to analyse agricultural innovation by chain players at levels from production to consumption.