Maize Pathways workshop presentation 3: Policy implications


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Presentation from a national dissemination workshop in Nairobi on 22 March 2010, for the STEPS Centre's project on environmental change and maize innovation in Kenya.

To find out more about our maize work, visit,% 20kenya.html

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Maize Pathways workshop presentation 3: Policy implications

  1. 1. Environmental Change and Maize Innovation in Kenya: Exploring pathways in and out of maize Policy implications Presentation 3 of 3 National Dissemination Workshop Hilton Hotel, Nairobi – 22 March 2010 STEPS Kenya Partners: ACTS – African Centre for Technology Studies CABE – Centre for African Bio-Entrepreneurship Tegemeo Institute, Egerton University IDS – Institute of Development Studies, UK SPRU – Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex, UK
  2. 2. To recap <ul><li>New (e.g. DT) maize: one solution among many </li></ul><ul><li>Sakai farmers: local maize, dryland crops </li></ul><ul><li>Income level and uncertainty </li></ul><ul><li>Organising into groups: sharing knowledge and skills, resources and risks </li></ul><ul><li>Assisted seed multiplication: consistent performer </li></ul><ul><li>Complex picture: diverse pathways, different conditions </li></ul>
  3. 3. Pathways out of maize (1) Orphans or siblings? Alternative dryland staple crops <ul><li>‘ Traditional’ crops, new pathways </li></ul><ul><li>Climate change as an opportunity: time to re-think ‘orphan crops’ </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on markets, not taste preferences </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges: market barriers and opportunities </li></ul>
  4. 4. Sorghum farmers, Sakai <ul><li>“ Kenya’s beer industry is turning to sorghum … to reduce its longstanding reliance on the more expensive barley. Brewers have started substituting some of their imported raw materials in partnership with local sorghum farmers.” </li></ul>
  5. 5. Pathways out of maize (2) Getting the high value without the high risk? Horticultural crops <ul><li>New crops, traditional constraints (access to water, cost of inputs, post harvest storage/markets) </li></ul><ul><li>Much potential, much uncertainty </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges - reducing the risk: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Drought tolerant trees (mango, citrus)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cooperate to compete (group-based)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water – the deal breaker? </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Mango farmer, Sakai <ul><li>“ When we are in a group, there is joint learning. We will need less training since we bring our knowledge together and we can share [it] better” (Farmer, Sakai) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Pathways within maize Living in parallel words? Bridging informal and formal seed systems <ul><li>Informal seed systems: not just a last resort </li></ul><ul><li>Building on the informal? Assisted seed multiplication and storage </li></ul><ul><li>Farmer seed selectors: vital link in the chain </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges: quality control and continuity of supply </li></ul>
  8. 8. Seed selector, Sakai <ul><li>“ On seed selectors... the law is silent. But we know they are there. They play an important role in food security” (Regulator, January 2009) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Pathways in and out of maize: Climate change as an opportunity <ul><li>Maize in a system: multiple roles, different circumstances </li></ul><ul><li>Beyond ‘lock in’: maize security ≠ food security </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of markets: key entry point </li></ul><ul><li>Resilience through diversity: opportunities, but many constraints… </li></ul>
  10. 10. Pathways in and out of maize: Opportunities and constraints Opportunities Constraints Short term/ Own resources Medium term/ Some resources Long term/ External resources