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Assessing capacity need in Kenya's agricultural sector

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Monet Durieux

The agriculture sector is the largest contributor to economic growth in Kenya, accounting for over a quarter of GDP. In addition, the demand for reliable and timely agricultural statistics in the country is high. In order to support improvements in statistics for sustainable agriculture in Kenya, an assessment of the capacity and infrastructure needs of the National Statistical System is required, focusing on the main producers of agricultural statistics.

While there has been a number of interventions aimed at addressing the constraints both at an institutional and organisational level, there is still a number bottlenecks related to ensuring that reliable and timely data are available for evidence-based policymaking. The World Bank, at the request of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MoALF), is focused on how to best improve the production, analysis, and dissemination of agriculture statistics at national and county levels to inform policymakers and the private sector to enable appropriate agricultural transformation in Kenya.

Challenges

The client expectations were high, particularly in relation to the budget, and thus the scope and deliverables of the project expanded quite a bit. However, the team was of the opinion that the investment would be important for developing stronger relationships with the World Bank.

Our approach

The project:

  • assessed the needs for agricultural statistical outputs;
  • conducted an assessment of the existing physical, organisational, and human capacities and infrastructure for agricultural data collection;
  • identified the capacity gaps; and
  • developed a costing methodology to address these gaps.

We conducted key informant interviews with staff within the MoALF and KNBS at the national, county, and district levels to understand the constraints in producing agricultural data. Six representative counties were selected for field work to undertake the in-depth capacity assessment.

The team developed self-assessment questionnaires for the user and producers of agricultural statistics and a costing methodology. An assessment framework tool for undertaking the capacity assessment for the field visits was developed to capture information on the institutional capacity, resources (human, physical, and financial), statistical methods, and practices and availability of statistical information.

Outcomes

The feedback from the client has been very positive, indicating that the report provided a significant amount of useful information regarding agricultural data in Kenya. The capacity assessment report was presented to stakeholders at a workshop. There was significant interest from all parties to use this report for the investment in agricultural data.

In addition, the World Bank will also be using the report to direct their investments in supporting improvement in agricultural data. We will be able to fully understand the impact of the report once it is put into use by a wide range of stakeholders.