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  • Mostplayers operate at functional lines such as inputs, production, processing and marketing and provision of services like information, credit and extension. As a result, their efforts remain in a niche and are too marginal to have an appreciable sector-wide impact. Realizing the growth potential in agriculture will require concerted actions throughout the value chain, based on reliable information and strengthened collaboration between the public and private sectors. Moreover, the potential for growth in farm-level income and productivity in Kenya will be intimately tied to productivity growth at the various stages in the value chain.

    Many of Kenya’s sub-sectors face several challenges that need to be addressed given their strategic role in food security and income generation for many smallholder farmers and other players. The Institute will continue to address important policy and investment issues in key value chains as well as conduct value chain analysis in commodities that play an important role in alleviating poverty and ensuring food security and also promote the development of pro-poor value chains. 
    Tegemeo Institute has implemented extensive research on value chain for grains, horticultural crops and dairy, some of which include:

    • Maize, wheat, rice, sweet potatoes, sorghum, cowpea, green grams
    • Fertilizer and seed value chains
    • Small livestock (indigenous chicken)


  • Written by, John Olwande.

    Kenya confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on 12 March 2020. Since then, the government has been providing daily updates on the number of new COVID-19 infections, recoveries and deaths in the country, as well as implementing several interventions to manage the disease. The cumulative numbers as of 12 August 2020 were 27,425 new infections, 13,867 recoveries and 438 deaths, and rising. The objective of this assessment was to understand the effects of COVID-19 on the food system and the sub-set of the population largely dependent on agriculture. The findings were intended to inform actions to assure protection of rural livelihoods and
    the continued supply of adequate and affordable food of acceptable quality to the population.

    Read More



  • Food insecurity is a threat to overall human well-being, as well as efforts geared toward economic growth and poverty alleviation. The concept of food security is multidimensional, encompassing food availability, affordability, adequacy, safety and quality. In Kenya, about 10 million people are said to be food insecure. Therefore food security continues to be an important national policy issue in Kenya. One of the government priorities is to make food available to all its citizens, yet it has had to grapple with several challenges including, low local supply, post-harvest losses, high prices on food imports and poverty among others. The country has in the recent years faced frequent and recurrent food security challenges resulting from, among other things, spiraling food prices, high input prices, prolonged and severe droughts, and high inflation rates. As a result, a large section of the population, and particularly vulnerable groups such as the pastoralists, internally displaced people, and the poor have had to grapple with inadequate access to food, sometimes resulting into severe hunger and loss of life.

    Tegemeo Institute recognizes the importance of food security in the development of the Kenyan economy. To this end, the Institute has conducted research that has informed policy makers on the short term, mid-term and long term policies instruments/intervention that would help to address food insecurity. As the country continues to develop, the Institute will continue to conduct research on food security to inform policy makers and other stakeholder on how to tackle this challenge. 
    Some of the research that has been carried out by the Institute includes:

    • Food security in urban households
    • Consumption and expenditure on key food commodities in urban areas 
    • Patterns and trends in household food insecurity
    • Effects of trade, tariffs and taxes on food security
    • Governance in food security initiatives
  • Written by, John Olwande and Miltone Ayieko.

    Since 12 March 2020, when Kenya reported the first COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Health confirmed a total of 45,076 cases and 839 deaths, as of 19 October.1 Despite the rising number of COVID-19 confirmed infections and deaths in Kenya during the third quarter (Q3) of 2020, the national and county governments relaxed some of the restrictions that had been in place during Q2 aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19. This assessment was aimed at understanding the effects of COVID-19 at household level and attendant policy responses during Q3 of 2020, to inform actions to assure protection of local food systems, rural livelihoods and the supply of adequate, affordable food of acceptable quality to the population.

    Read More


  • Venue: Ololulung’a Sub County Headquarters, Narok County

    Pastoralism is an extensive form of livestock production that constitutes the main production system found in rangelands, providing livelihoods to an estimated of 500 million people globally. Similar to other parts of the world, the country’s public policy has not always pursued policies that are sustain pastoralism. This has been due to misconceptions about pastoralism, competition from other land uses, demographic changes and urbanisation. As such, pastoral communities in Kenya, similar to other parts of the world, are now facing immense pressure on their land.

    Against this backdrop, Tegemeo Institute conducted a study that tracked how land tenure in pastoralist communities had changed. In addition, we were able to compare this evolution with what is happening to pastoral communities in other parts of the world with a view of learning from these experience and drawing lessons that will help pastoral communities sustain their productive systems. We have drawn lessons through interaction with experts from Sub Saharan Africa and Latin America. The findings from this work are now ready to be disseminated as we continue to engage in the debate for sustaining pastoralism. It is in the light of this that the Institute is organizing a workshop where key findings from this study will be presented and discussed. The workshop will brought together government bureaucrats, pastoral communities and other stakeholders working with pastoral communities.

    Workshop Proceedings

    See more out put from the Ella Project 

  • The Covid-19 pandemic arrived on the world stage in early 2020and, as of the time of this writing,shows little sign of abating. Thus far, countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have mostly evaded anintense, direct public health effect of Covid-19, and this is indeed something to celebrate. However,the Covid-19 pandemic, inclusive of the associated policy responses,10has affected food systems inSSA through numerous other avenues. The pandemic triggered a global recession, which in turn hasnegatively affected international supply and demand for some agricultural imports and exports andbroadly reduced the flow of international remittances into lower-income countries.



  • Tegemeo participated at the inaugrual East Africa Evidence to Action (ICED) Conference held on 24th-25th May 2017. 

    Various speakers and panelists provided in-depth insight as well as practical tools that will enhance evidence based and data informed Policy and Practice in Africa.

    Many topics were covered during this inaugural conference and in line with Tegemeo's mandate of disseminating its research findings to various stakeholders, we participated in various sessions. The Institute Director Dr. Mary Mathenge led a panel of other experts from the Institute comprising of:  

    1. Dr. Mercy Kamau, MLE Director, Tegemeo Institute
    2. Dr. Lilian Kirimi, Research Director, Tegemeo Institute
    3. Dr. Timothy Njagi, M&E Specialist, Tegemeo Institute
    4. Dr. Miltone Ayieko, Outreach, Communication & Partnerships Coordinator, Tegemeo Institute

    The panel of experts discussed keys to translating Evidence to Policy and Practice: Lessons and Experiences from Agricultural Policy Research

    Besides the Tegemeo team moderating in various sessions and exhibiting part of its research products, Dr. Timothy Njagi & Dr. Mary Mathenge presented at a break out session themed Adoption of Improved Technology. Their presentation was on lessons drawn from a study on Adoption of Technology Bundles among Smallholder Maize Farmers in Kenya Evaluating Socioeconomic Impacts of Mid-altitude Maize Hybrid Varieties in KenyaDr. Mercy Kamau and Dr. Fred Bagamba presented at yet another break out session themed: Adoption of Improved Technology. Their presentation was onImproving food security through the introduction of new seed varieties: How effective are demonstration plots and field days in influencing farmers adoption behavior towards new maize and bean varieties?

    The conference was held at Park Inn Radisson Blu, Nairobi.

  • The Covid-19 pandemic and associated policy responses are likely to affect food systems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) through numerous pathways (Figure 1). As of late 2020, the most striking impacts have been felt through the policies aimed at preventing the spread of the virus through restrictions on movement and economic activity. These include directives to remain at home with exceptions made for limited essential activities; social distancing requirements in public spaces including markets and public transportation; the closure of markets and workplaces; and the closure or heightened security of borders and inter-state roads..



  • Date :  14th July 2015

    Time : 7.00am - 10.30am

    Venue : PanAfric Hotel


    Maize production in Kenya has continuously faced a number of challenges that have hampered food availability and access. These challenges include, low productivity, high input costs, post-harvest losses, climate variability and change, among others. To address the challenge of high input costs, the Government launched an aggressive programme of providing subsidized fertilizer to farmers. It was expected that this programme, coupled with other interventions, would bring down the costs of maize production and consequently maize flour prices. In addition, the Government is investing in large scale irrigated maize production in order to reduce reliance on rain-fed agriculture, and thus deal with the problem of perennial maize shortage.

    Given the strategic role that maize plays in food security and household income, it is imperative to have continued assessment and deliberation on feasible options that could lower costs of production and hence ensure competitiveness in production and lower food prices. In light of this, Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development, Egerton University has been carrying out regular/annual assessment of production costs for maize to help inform on this debate. We have recently assessed the cost of production for the 2014/15 cropping year under different production systems and fertilizer access regimes, the viability of irrigated maize, and the status of the current food situation in Kenya.

    The following findings from these studies were shared with stakeholders:


    1. Cost of Maize Across Different Systems and Regions in Kenya: Implications for Food Security and Pricing

    2. Can Irrigation be an Answer to Increased Maize Production snd Food Security in Kenya?

    3. Trends in maize grain and flour prices: Implications for food security

    Other downloads available


    Press releases

  • The fishing sector employs about two million people including fishers, traders, processors, input suppliers, merchants of fishing accessories and providers of related services. Just like all the sectors in our economy, the fish industry has faced a general disruption of the supply chain due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The confusion arising from the different measures taken to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus has resulted in a range of short-term effects, which vary by locality and type of fish. In the recent past, it has been reported that fishing in Lake Victoria has experienced mixed effects as a result of the pandemic.

  • Date :  10th October 2016

    Time : 7.00am - 10.30am

    Venue : PanAfric Hotel


    Kenya remains largely a net importer of key food staples namely maize, wheat and rice. On average, the country imports over 50% percent of its demand for rice and wheat and 7-10 percent of maize.  This is despite favorable conditions for production thus implying an unexploited potential and/or lack of sufficient policy support for increased production.

    In Kenya, majority of producers of maize and rice are small scale farmers who also depend on these staples for their livelihoods. In order to ensure food security and improve household incomes, it is important to continuously assess and monitor the profitability and competitiveness of these key staples in the country. This will enable identification of key challenges and opportunities for increased production and areas of policy intervention.

    Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development, Egerton University conducted an assessment of the costs of production for maize and rice for the 2015/16 cropping year and the current status of food situation in the country. The findings of this assessment were shared and discussed in a stakeholders’ breakfast forum to elicit feedback and way forward on feasible options that could improve on the profitability and competitiveness in production. Such interventions are necessary for ensuring lower food prices for consumers.

    The following findings from these studies were shared with stakeholders:


    1. Meeting Introduction and Objectives

    View a brief video intro on the same here...

    2. Consumption Patterns of Major Staples in Rural & Urban areas of Kenya

    View a brief video on the Consumption patterns here... 

    3. Cost of Maize and Rice Production in Small and Large Scale Systems, 2015 

    View a brief video on the cost of rice and maize production here... 

    4. Kenya’s Maize Crop Prospects and Food Situation

    View a brief video on the food situation here... 

    View more videos here... 

    Insights from Narok County 

    Insights from a largescale rice producer

    Voices from Ahero farmers

    Voices from Muluwa rice farmers

  • The need for increased and dependable food supply in Kenya cannot be over emphasized. Kenya enjoys favorable conditions for food production but food availability has been erratic, fluctuating from year to year. This is majorly due to challenges experienced in the course of production including but not limited to climate variability and change, rain dependent farming, high input costs, low productivity, post-harvest losses, and most recently the fall army worm infestation, among others.

    Despite efforts by the Government and other actors in the agriculture sector, Kenya is still not self-sufficient in production of the key staples namely maize, wheat and rice. Demand for these staples has increased due to population growth, increased urbanization and a shift in food preferences. Therefore, it is important to continuously assess the cost of producing these food crops to inform affordability and identify key drivers affecting cost of production. This will in turn inform on areas where policy can intervene and consequently lead to improved productivity, food security and household incomes.

    Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development of Egerton University recently conducted an assessment of the costs of production for maize and rice for the 2017/18 cropping year and the current status of the food situation in the country. The findings of this assessment were shared and discussed at a stakeholders’ breakfast forum to elicit feedback and way forward on feasible options that could lower costs of production and ensure dependable food supply and lower food prices.

    Cost of Production for Maize & Rice in Kenya 2017

    Food Situation Assessment & Prospects for 2017-2018

    Breakfast Meeting Proceedings 

  • Tegemeo Institute, under the Division of Research & Extension today, 11 May 2021,participated in the planting of 1,000 tree seedlings at Njoro Campus. Today’s session is part of the University’s continuous effort of environmental conservation as reflected in one of its core values, “Passion for environmental conservation.”

    Njoro River is one of the main rivers that contribute water to Lake Nakuru National Park which is a home for thousands of birds (Flamingoes), wild animals and diverse tree species. Close to 600,000 people depend on this river for drinking water as a source of livelihood. We call upon other stakeholders, notably the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) and the Nakuru County to plant more trees on the lower sections of this river to prevent loss of soils through erosion and maintain the water quality for the wildlife within the Nakuru National Park. 



  • Food security is one of the pillars under the Government’s ‘Big Four Agenda’ and is also a key theme in the forthcoming Agriculture Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGS). The need for increased and dependable food supply in Kenya cannot be overemphasized given the growth in its population.

    Low agricultural production and erratic food availability can be attributed to factors such as climate variability and change, high input costs, low adoption of technology, declining agricultural land, low productivity, post-harvest losses, limited value addition, and prevalence of pests and diseases, among others. Despite efforts by the Government and other actors in the agriculture sector, the country is still not self-sufficient in the production of the key staples such as maize, wheat, rice and Irish potatoes. Continuous assessment of the cost of production for these crops is essential to inform on key drivers of food security.

    Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development, Egerton University, recently conducted an assessment of the costs of production for maize, rice and Irish potatoes for the 2017/18 cropping year and the current status of the food situation in the country. The findings of this assessment were shared at a Stakeholders’ Breakfast Forum to elicit feedback on appropriate policy options which can be used to inform policy formulation and decision making.

    Cost of Production for Maize , Irish Potatoes and Rice in Kenya 2018 plus Food Situation Assessment 2018


    Breakfast Meeting Proceedings 

  • Kenya confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on 12 March 2020. Like many governments across the world, the Kenyan government implemented various measures aimed at slowing down local spread of the virus and cushioning the population against the negative economic effects of the pandemic and the associated policy restrictions.

  • Inception Workshop on Climate Change and Rural Livelihoods

    Date: 3rd February 2011

    Time: 8:00am to 1.00pm

    Venue: Fairview Hotel Nairobi

     Climate change is currently one of the major challenges facing the world. This is particularly so for Sub-Saharan Africa, which has minimal capacity to build resilience against its effects. Climate variability and change and associated droughts and floods directly affect agricultural production and food security given that most of the population in Africa lives in the rural areas and relies mainly on rain-fed agriculture for its livelihood. Climate change thus threatens to impact all aspects of human development, including the physical environment and social vulnerabilities.

    Tegemeo Institute of Egerton University seeks to incorporate climate change in its research agenda, and inform policy on mitigation and adaptation strategies necessary to deal with the risks associated with climate variability and change. The Institute aims at strengthening its capacity in research on climate change issues and conducting a study that is expected to provide empirical evidence on the effects of climate change on rural households and strategies used by these households to build resilience in the face of climate change. The Institute’s work will contribute to ongoing studies on the effects of climate change in the country and inform on various government policies related to climate change.

    It is against this backdrop that the Institute organized a Workshop to bring together stakeholders in the climate change network. We belief that knowledge exchange and sharing among scientists and policy-makers is crucial in efforts geared toward making livelihoods more diverse and resilient to effects of climate change. The workshop focused on sharing information on the current research efforts in climate change being undertaken by Tegemeo Institute and other organizations/institutions in Kenya; and, creating linkages among stakeholders in the climate change network and assessing areas of possible collaboration that will avoid duplication of efforts and enhance synergies.


    1. Introduction and Workshop Objectives
    2. Proposed Research - Effects of climate change on Rural communities in Kenya
    3. Index-based weather insurance
    4. National Climate Change Response Strategy
    5. Climate Change Framework In Kenya: Post Cancun
    6. Climate Products Geared Towards Rural Livelihoods

    Presentation PDF File
    Inception Workshop on Climate Change and Rural Livelihoods Proceedings - PDF

  • Workshop on Market Participation among Women and the Poor in Kenya, March 2011 in Nyandarua North, Mbeere South and Kirinyaga West


    Improving agricultural productivity is crucial in enhancing food security and accelerating pro-poor growth. Various functions in implementation of programmes/projects that are geared towards mitigating food insecurity and poverty reduction have been decentralized to the local level (district and below) as a way of increasing responsiveness, effectiveness and efficiency. This has been achieved by establishment of organs through which various functions are effected and by involvement of various stakeholders, including the farmers. To ensure that initiatives are/remain relevant to the needs of local communities particularly the poor and vulnerable, it is important to continually review the governance mechanisms that are in place at these local levels. A key objective of the agri-food systems project is to promote policies and governance mechanisms for sustainable agri-food systems. It seeks to contribute to the understanding of why current policies, institutions and governance mechanisms have not enhanced ability of the rural poor, women and the vulnerable to secure sustainable livelihoods, food and income security and a revitalized natural resource base.

     It is against this backdrop that Tegemeo Institute of Egerton University undertook studies in Mbeere, Kirinyaga and Nyandarua to establish the local level structures responsible for various food security-related initiatives, their composition and the existing linkages both upstream and downstream as well as horizontal linkages. In addition, the Institute captured the perception of local stakeholders on dimensions of governance that are relevant to making agri-food systems work for the poor and vulnerable namely, the satisfaction, participation and their influence. This study is within the broader project on "Making Agri-food Systems Work for the Rural Poor" being carried out in collaboration with other local and regional partners.

    Preliminary results show that the structure is still limiting farmers' involvement in decision making, in resource allocation and in ensuring programmes and projects remain accountable. In addition, current funding levels seem to be curtailing the convening of various organs/committees and wider farmer representation. Farmers on the other hand seem to have minimal understanding of the projects in which they are participating in although there was an above average perception on satisfaction with benefit derived from the projects. There was also little knowledge on existing civil society groups, their agenda/mandate and influence on the committees.

    Tegemeo Institute organized for workshops to disseminate it findings and get feedback from the community. The workshops drew participants from farmer groups, civil societies and NGOs . 

    Nyandarua North Workshop
    Venue : St. Martin's Catholic Church Hall , Nyahururu
    Date : 9th March, 2011
    1. Making Agrifood System Work for the Poor-Presentations of a dissemination workshop in Nyandarua North
    4. Way forward matrix for Nyandarua North 
    Mbeere South Workshop
    Venue : Christian Community Service (CCS) Mayori, kiritiri
    Date : 10th March, 2011
    1. Making Agrifood System Work for the Poor-Presentations of a Dissemination Workshop in Mbeere South
    3. Way Forward Matrix for Mbeere South
    Kirinyaga West Workshop
    Venue : County Hotel, Sagana
    Date : 11th March, 2011
    1. Making Agrifood system work for the poor-Presentations of dissemination workshop in Kirinyaga West
    2. Food Security Initiatives in Kirinyaga West District
    4. Way Forward Matrix for Kirinyaga West
  • Venue: Nyeri, Makueni, Kakamega, Kisii, Kisumu and Uasin Gishu

    Dates: July 2011 to February 2012


    Tegemeo Institute is a policy research Institute under the Division of Research and Extension of Egerton University. The Institute contributes to policy formulation in Kenya by striving to conduct proactive policy research and advocacy that enhance food security, creates wealth and sustains the environment. Through outreach, the Institute informs public and private sector stakeholders about possible policy and investment options that can promote household incomes, food security, and agricultural and rural development in Kenya. The Institute believes that given relevant empirical information, much progress can be made in effective public sector management through collaborative policy outreach, which entails meaningful discussions and interaction among researchers, policy makers, and other stakeholders.

    Primary data is a valuable asset for generating evidence-based economic and policy options. Tegemeo Institute has over the last 13 years, been tracking progress made at the farm household level by collating data from rural farm households. The Institute conducts household surveys every two years. The data collected includes: input-output data; marketing data, on- and off-farm employment, income; technology (seed and fertilizer) use and accessibility to basic infrastructure (roads, water, markets), among others. Although this data has over the years been used to generate evidence to inform policy formulation at the national, regional and international levels, the Institute is yet to provide feedback to the community from which data were collected. As the country transitions to a decentralized system, Tegemeo Institute finds it useful to provide evidence from its dataset to: 1) Inform the central and county governments regarding the status of the agricultural sector and farm households, the possible pathways to development and the critical bottlenecks to such development; and 2) Provide a good/reliable baseline which county governments can use to track progress in their regions.

    It is against this backdrop that Tegemeo Institute has been organizing workshops to disseminate its findings on "Status, Trends and Opportunities in Smallholder Agricultural Productivity, Market Participation and Household Incomes". During the workshops the Institute presents the current status of key household and agricultural indicators as well as changes that have occurred over the last 10 years, with a view to identifying positive trends/opportunities and possible solutions/interventions to unlock potential or mitigate negative trends. 

    The audience for the outreach workshops are the farming community as well as other stakeholders including the regional government, political leaders, agricultural sector ministries, research institutions and development agents (NGO's, donors) who have on-going or planned activities in the areas covered by the Tegemeo panel.

  • Workshop on Integration of poor and vulnerable farmers into value Chains for sweet potatoes and other emerging crops in Mbeere and Kirinyaga 
    Venue: County Hotel, Sagana and Gachoka CDF Complex, Kiritiri
    Date: 14-15 February, 2012

    The general agreement is that integrating rural poor farmers into markets is crucial in enhancing food security and accelerating pro-poor economic growth. It is also widely recognised that these farmers need to be organized and their capacity built to enable them penetrate larger and more lucrative markets beyond the production zones.

    It is against this backdrop that Tegemeo Institute of Egerton University undertook an economic and value chain analysis of selected ‘orphan’ crops grown by smallholder farmers, including the poor in the drier parts of Kirinyaga West District and Mbeere South District. These studies are within the broader project “Making Agri-food Systems Work for the Rural Poor” which is being carried out in collaboration with the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) and other regional partners.

    Our findings are that production of these crops is profitable and that farmers would greatly increase their income by producing in the off-season, adopting standardized weights and by selling their produce in markets beyond their locality. Farmers have however been unsuccessful in enforcing standardized packaging/weights and grades. They have also not tapped into lucrative markets beyond the production area partly because they are not organized and do not have information beyond that which is available from local traders/brokers.

    Tegemeo Institute organized workshops that were aimed at bringing together various stakeholders from the private sector, public sector, NGO’s, civil society groups and the local farming community to amongst others; discuss how the community can organize and build capacity that will enable them to penetrate lucrative markets. Background papers were presented by Tegemeo Institute, the Ministry of Agriculture and the civil society. The output from the Workshops was an action plan and commitment of resources required: to get farmers organized, to impart knowledge and skills and to link them to lucrative markets.

  • Workshop on Improving Participation in Agricultural Commodity Markets for Smallholder Farmers in Kenya: Assessing Growth Opportunities for Marginalized Groups

    Venue: Panafric Hotel, Nairobi

    Date: July 23, 2013


    Workshop Participants

    Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development of Egerton University and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) have been involved in a study to assess growth opportunities for marginalized groups in three value chains, namely, avocado, sweet potato and indigenous chicken. The main objective of the study was to identify critical bottlenecks and assess growth opportunities that could be exploited in improving market access and participation by marginalized groups especially women.
    Preliminary findings from the study were presented in a workshop held at the Panafric Hotel on 23rd July, 2013. The aim of the workshop was to share research findings, elicit debate and get feedback from stakeholders. The discussions during the workshop were based on the results of the detailed studies presented in relation to the actions of the various chain players, efficiency of product flows, comparative gross margins analysis, among others. The extent of women participation, challenges and unexploited opportunities in each value chain were also discussed.
    The workshop drew participants from a wide spectrum of stakeholders including relevant government ministries, mainly Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, donor agencies, International research organizations, e.g. CIP, ICRAF, various NGOs, the private sector (exporters, processors, traders, etc), relevant commodity associations, farmer groups and organizations, farmers and Egerton University- Tegemeo Institute, among others.