VALOR – Valorizing African Agriculture in Kenya
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Status: 
Ongoing

Overview of the project

Agriculture in Africa in general, and Kenya in particular, is often characterised by presence of small holder farmers, low prices and varying quantities. The VALOR project was developed to document the potential for creating monetary value from agricultural origin products in Africa. It is based on the tenet that the continent has an untapped potential to value and market their origin products based on the geographical characteristics, which would result in better income for the producers as well as better management of the environment and increased social inclusion.

 

This project is focuses on geographical Indications (GIs). Its objective is to accelerate green inclusive growth through new knowledge about institutional environments in Kenya and allow transition to a green economy, valorising documented territory specific (origin) products and focusing on honey products embodying pollination services from agro-ecosystems stewarded by smallholders, inspired by or using protected geographical indications (GIs).

 

The objectives of the project will be pursued through 5 work packages that entail (i) investigating the institutional and policy environments for valorization via origin products and GIs; (ii) Case study analysis of potential GI products; (iii) indepth strategic case study of honey as a GI product embodying the smallholder stewarded ecosystem service pollination; (iv) cross cutting analysis and synthesis of research findings and relevant policy outcomes; and (v) Coordination of the project.

 

Towards achieving the project objectives in Kenya, 2 PhD students, one for Work packages (WPs) 1 and 2 and the other for WP 3, were recruited in 2014 and started working on their dissertations:

 

Progress made to date:

 

  1. Project Inception Workshop

The project inception workshop was held between the 4th and 7th of March 2014 in Arusha Tanzania. The workshop was held to provide a forum for all the project partners including the PhD students to meet and plan the project implementation activities. At the workshop, the students, with the guidance of the supervisors under the different work packages, were required to develop guiding criteria for selecting products that would have potential for GI. Later each student was to conduct a scoping study that would give an indication of the potential crop and livestock products that have a potential to be protected as GIs.

 

  1. PhD students

The two students registered at the University of Nairobi have presented their proposals to BPS and were fully registered in 2015. They have data collection and currently are analysing data and writing their reports

  1. Scoping study

To enable the students fully develop their proposals and data collection tools, each conducted a scoping study of different organisations and farmer groups in order to identify which products and regions have greatest potential GIs and hence for detailed studies.

 

  1. Study stay at Copenhagen University

The two VALOR students participated in two study stays at the Copenhagen University in 2014 nad 2015. The objective of the study stay swas to get better equipped on how to combine qualitative and quantitative research methods. During the study stays, the students also took courses on ‘Food Industry:Structure and Economics’ and ‘Qualitative Methods’, which were taught through class lectures, visiting lecturers from different relevant organisations with in Denmark and field trips to different food industries.

 

During these study visits, university supervisors from the respective African countries where the VALOR project is being implemented also visited Denmark. There they were involved in joint supervision meetings with the Danish project partners as well as field visits to producers of GI and potential GI products.

 

  1. Project publications

A conference paper titled “An assessment of high quality honeys with a potential for Geographical Indication (GI) labeling and initiatives that add value to the honey sector in Kenya” was presented by one of the PhD students, Mary Warui, at the 1st Apimondia Symposium on African Bees and Beekeeping. This symposium was held in Arusha, Tanzania, 11th – 16th November 2014.

Since then the project researchers have presented papers in different conferences in Germany, Kenya and Tanzania.

 

  1. Project Workshop at Morendat Conference and Training Centre (MCTC), Naivasha

As the first year of the project drew to an end, a project workshop was held in Naivasha, Kenya from the 19th to 21st of November 2014. The objective of the workshop was to take stock of progress made so far and initialise the data collection phase. In 2016 January, a project workshop was held in Dar Es Salaam

 

  1. Participation of Stakeholders in Kenya through a Workshop at ICRAF Nairobi

A project stakeholders’ workshop for VALOR activities in Kenya was held on Monday 24th November 2014. Participants at the workshop included representatives from the tea, coffee, honey, wildlife, sectors, the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI), as well as academia from the University of Nairobi and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

Collaborators: 

Partners in Kenya: Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)

Partners outside Kenya: Danish Beekeeper´s Association (Denmark), University of Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), University of Ghana, Legon,(Ghana) University of Cape Coast (Ghana), and University of Copenhagen (Denmark)

Amount: 
Total funding (2014 – 2017): DKK.1,569,597 (USD. 262,455)
Start Year: 
2014
End Year: 
2018