Resource Mobilization

Helping Smallholder Producers to Access Markets in Marginalized Areas of Kenya and South Sudan

Low agricultural production and low household incomes mean that food security in the northwest of Kenya and the southeastern part of South Sudan continues to be a challenge. With smallholder producers and small and medium-sized entrepreneurs often marginalized and excluded from access to markets at national and regional levels, there was an urgent need to devise innovative approaches to developing and reinforcing efficient business linkages between value chain actors.

What did the project do

FAO improved the incomes of smallholder producers – thereby strengthening their food security – by supporting agricultural production and commercialization in West Pokot County, Kenya and in Eastern Equatoria State, South Sudan, with particular focus on food commodities, horticulture and livestock value chains. Emphasis was placed on supporting and strengthening smallholder farmers to organize themselves into pre-cooperative groups and cooperatives for profitable production, processing, value addition and marketing of agricultural products, based on pro-poor strategies. The key outputs through which this was achieved were (i) an increase in market-oriented production, (ii) strengthening of farmer-based organizations and cooperatives, (iii) greater engagement of service providers in agribusiness and (iv) policy work to mainstream value chain development into national and regional agricultural strategies.


FAO’s approach in conducting mainly hands-on training to smallholder producers ensured that the capacities of beneficiaries were built and that business linkages with the private sector and key government institutions were created. These market links will provide a solid basis for the future food security of the beneficiaries in the target areas. The establishment of pre-cooperative groups and the formalization of cooperatives, coupled with the support in preparing business and action plans, translated into a successful model that is now in place for the commercialization of agricultural products in marginalized areas.


  • 11 demonstration plots established in West Pokot County to improve production of high-value vegetable, crops such as green gram, watermelon and okra.
  • Motor pumps and pipes provided in Masol area at encouraging prices to youth groups in order to boost the use of irrigation.
  • Pre-cooperative groups in Masol, Ortum, Lomut and Sigor areas trained on production of high-quality mango seedlings, papaya and watermelon.
  • Women’s groups in West Pokot County supported in processing and commercialization of mango chips and linked with producers.
  • Subregional training of trainers organized in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Kigali, Rwanda to enhance entrepreneurial skills.
  • Farmers’ groups in Magwi area trained on improved agricultural production methods.
  • In Eastern Equatoria State, training of cooperatives’ management staff in business planning, business management and entrepreneurship.
  • Kapoeta Women’s Milk Association supported through training on business planning and management and through provision of milk-handling equipment.
  • Experience-learning visits organized for five cooperatives from South Sudan – Tic Ber, Can Mito Tuti, Wat Mit, Nen Anyim and Harambee.
  • Slaughterhouse constructed in the Torit municipality and training provided to management staff.
  • Torit’s Hides and Skins Cooperative Society strengthened by business skills training and facilitation of market linkages
Project symbol: GTFS/RAF/478/ITA
Project title: Food Security through Commercialization of Agricultural sector in marginalized areas in Kenya and South Sudan under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) Framework, with focus on women and youth
Contact: FAO Regional Office for Africa / Florence Tartanac (Lead Technical Officer)