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Lesson learning study of the Farm Inputs Promotions (FIPS) project in Kenya

Published by:
Publication date
Type of Publication:
Focus Region:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Focus Topic:
Agricultural Value Chains / Agri-Businesses
Knowledge Management
Malcolm Blackie; Kerry Albright

FIPS Africa (Farm Input Promotions – Africa) is a further development of an effort which began in Western Kenya in 1990. SCODP1 , a Kenyan NGO, was established to make the fertiliser readily available in small packages (in an appropriate formulation) to farmers who previously were unable to use this costly, but potentially productive, technology in an economically efficient manner2 . The area of focus initially was Siaya district in western Kenya which was home to some 100,000 farm families. While the area was potentially highly productive, few families produced enough food for their annual needs (Berg, 1999). SCODP set out to show that fertiliser use (and consequent food security) could be stimulated amongst very poor farmers without resorting to free handouts or setting up expensive credit operations. The objective was to create a self sustaining farm input supply system which would serve smallholders effectively and at a cost that the poorest could afford.