Kenya On-Farm Storage Challenge Project

Completed

SUMMARY

The AgResults Kenya On-Farm Storage Challenge Project was a four-year, US$12 million program that used a Pay-for-Results prize competition to motivate private sector competitors to develop, market, and sell on-farm storage (OFS) devices to smallholder farmers in the country’s Rift Valley and Eastern Regions. Competing storage solution companies could become eligible for prizes by reaching an established sales threshold to promote purchases of improved devices among smallholder farmers. In this way, the project would reduce post-harvest loss and boost farmer incomes. The project ran from 2014 to 2018, with final prizes awarded in October 2018. Tanager International served as the Project Manager.

woman carrying a storage bag of crops
With hermetic storage devices, farmers can better protect their crops from pests and toxins.

THE LEARNING JOURNEY


THE PROBLEM

Post-Harvest Losses and Food Insecurity

Eastern Africa grows nearly 20% of the grain produced in sub-Saharan Africa, yet the region suffers from post-harvest grain losses that cost about US$1.6 billion per year (13.5% of the total value of grain production). Because many smallholder farmers are not aware of the benefits and do not access on-farm storage (OFS), they are often forced to sell their crops right after harvest. This reduces their income and requires them to purchase maize later in the season. In the cases where they do decide to store maize, they must recur to expensive pesticides during storage. The peak supply periods around harvest drives down the market price, reducing potential income. If farmers opt to use traditional methods to store their crops, especially in Kenya, they still run into trouble: The grains often fall victim to larger grain borers and other pests.


CONTEST DESIGN

Theory of Change

Kenya’s Pay-for-Results incentive aimed to spark product innovation and motivate private sector actors to expand distribution networks and develop tailored marketing to encourage smallholder farmers to use OFS devices such as hermetically sealed plastic bags, plastic tanks, and metal silos. The Theory of Change asserted that as farmers became more familiar with OFS technology, they would be more likely to invest in it to store more grain and reduce post-harvest loss – in turn boosting household incomes and food security.

Kenya Prize Structure


EXPECTED IMPACT

The project aimed to improve smallholder food security by raising awareness about the role of OFS in reducing post-harvest losses and expanding access to more effective storage devices. Adoption of improved devices was expected to reduce grain loss and make more grain available for consumption. It would also reduce smallholder households’ pesticide exposure since most of the storage technologies do not require pesticide dusting. Finally, because OFS technology enables smallholder farmers to safely store grain for longer periods, they could sell their grain at higher prices and increase their revenue.

AgResults expected to achieve the following by the end of the project:

  • Reach approximately 480,000 smallholder farmers and generate at least 172,000 MT of adjusted storage capacity for grain in the Rift Valley and Eastern Region.
  • Generate US$14 million in smallholder benefits from the storage of grain, sale of crops in higher price market periods, and the reduced need to buy grain for household consumption.
  • Enable private sector companies to test products and marketing strategies that can be used for distribution of storage solutions.

ACTUAL RESULTS

9

# of Competitors

328,554

SHF Reached

$6,251,500

Prizes Awarded (USD)

$4,857,130

Competitor Investment (est)


EVALUATION

Evaluation Design

In Kenya, the Evaluator has used an interrupted time series impact evaluation design to assess the project’s impact on smallholder farmers. This approach tracks the key outcomes over time before, during, and after the project. To assess how the project has impacted the market for storage solutions, the Evaluator primarily employs qualitative research guided by the structure conduct and performance paradigm.

Evaluation Stage

The Evaluator carried out the first phase of the baseline in 2014, with reference to the 2013 harvest. The second phase of the baseline was in 2015, with reference to the 2014 harvest. Endline data collection finished in September 2018. The final evaluation is complete and awaiting approval before public dissemination.


LEARNING

What We’ve Learned through Implementation

This section shares our learning from the Kenya On-Farm Storage Challenge Project design and implementation. Further details can be found in the Learning Library.

learning table from Kenya

Relevant Learning

Final Report: Kenya On-Farm Storage Challenge Project

October 24, 2019

Eastern Africa grows nearly 20% of the grain produced in sub-Saharan Africa, yet the region suffers from post-harvest grain losses that cost about US$1.6 billion per year. The AgResults Kenya On-Farm Storage Challenge Project (2014-2018) used a Pay-for-Results prize competition to motivate private competitors to develop, market, and sell on-farm storage devices to smallholder farmers in the country's Rift Valley and Eastern Regions. Overall, participating competitors sold a total of 1,390,777 improved storage devices, creating 413,265 MT of improved storage capacity.

Kenya Storage

Sustainability Assessment: Kenya On-Farm Storage Challenge Project

May 7, 2021

This sustainability assessment by External Evaluator Abt Associates looking at the Kenya On-Farm Storage Challenge Project affirms that Pay-for-Results projects can catalyze development of a smallholder- and gender-inclusive, sustainable market for beneficial agricultural technologies. Since the project ended, there have been new entrants to the market, ongoing product innovation, and a 250% increase in sales of on-farm storage products attributable to AgResults.

EvaluatorKenya Storage

Summary of Evaluator Findings and Lessons from AgResults Prize Competitions: 2013-2020

May 11, 2021

This report by External Evaluator Abt Associates summarizes independent evaluation findings from competitions in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia and offers guidance for future prize sponsors. It provides evidence that Pay-for-Results (PfR) competitions can spur development of markets for technologies benefitting smallholder farmers. It also offers guidance on how to determine whether PfR is an appropriate design option and how to maximize farmer benefits.

EvaluatorKenya StorageNigeria AflasafeUganda LegumesZambia PVA Maize

Evaluator Lessons Learned 8: Impact Evaluation Methods Popular

October 4, 2022

This brief by External Evaluator Abt Associates discusses quantitative methods for conducting impact assessments of smallholder farmer benefits from donor-devised interventions that stimulate private sector engagement in markets for technologies benefiting the farmers. The brief presents three AgResults Pay-for-Results competitions as examples and offers seven lessons for evaluators.

EvaluatorKenya StorageNigeria AflasafeVietnam Emissions

Design Brief #1: Concept Sourcing

May 24, 2021

The first in a series of five, this brief provides an overview of concept sourcing, the first phase of AgResults’ Pay-for-Results prize competition design process. It shows how program designers begin the process by brainstorming and assessing potential development challenges to see if a prize competition is best suited to address the identified problem.

Brucellosis (Global)FMD VaccineIndonesia AquacultureKenya StorageNigeria AflasafeTanzania DairyUganda LegumesVietnam EmissionsZambia PVA Maize

Design Brief #2: Analyzing Feasibility

June 16, 2021

This brief, the second in a series of five, provides an overview of the second phase of AgResults’ approach to Pay-for-Results prize competition design. It explains how program designers conduct deeper research on relevant market systems to articulate a Theory of Change for the competition and to reasonably estimate the project’s impacts.

Brucellosis (Global)FMD VaccineIndonesia AquacultureKenya StorageNigeria AflasafeTanzania DairyUganda LegumesVietnam EmissionsZambia PVA Maize

Design Brief #3: Structuring Prizes

June 25, 2021

This brief, the third in a series of five, provides an overview of the third phase of AgResults’ approach to Pay-for-Results prize competition design. It explains how program designers can create the set of parameters and rules that determines who competes, how to win the prize(s), and the implementation timeline.

Brucellosis (Global)FMD VaccineIndonesia AquacultureKenya StorageNigeria AflasafeTanzania DairyUganda LegumesVietnam EmissionsZambia PVA Maize

Design Brief #4: Right-Sizing Prizes

July 9, 2021

This brief, the fourth in a series of five, provides an overview of the fourth phase of AgResults’ approach to Pay-for-Results prize competition design. It explains how program designers can determine the size of the prize purse to effectively drive participation and innovation without overpaying for results.

Brucellosis (Global)FMD VaccineIndonesia AquacultureKenya StorageNigeria AflasafeTanzania DairyUganda LegumesVietnam EmissionsZambia PVA Maize

Design Brief #5: Verification and Project Management

July 21, 2021

This brief, the fifth and final in the series, provides an overview of the fifth phase of AgResults’ approach to Pay-for-Results prize competition design. It explains how program designers can develop a thorough verification plan to evaluate competitors’ results and determine prize payments. It also summarizes the activities involved in project management of a prize competition.

Brucellosis (Global)FMD VaccineIndonesia AquacultureKenya StorageNigeria AflasafeTanzania DairyUganda LegumesVietnam EmissionsZambia PVA Maize

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Impactful Design: AgResults’ Pay-for-Results Prize Competition Toolkit

February 19, 2021

This toolkit is a practical guide for agricultural development practitioners who are interested in using Pay-for-Results prize competitions to stimulate new markets for agricultural technologies and engage the private sector for scale-up. It draws upon the experience of AgResults, which has designed and implemented prize competitions around the world since 2013.

Brucellosis (Global)FMD VaccineIndonesia AquacultureKenya StorageNigeria AflasafePrize DesignTanzania DairyUganda LegumesVietnam EmissionsZambia PVA Maize


Project Team

head shot photo of caroline kipkorir

Caroline Kipkorir

Tanager International – Technical Officer

Caroline Kipkorir has more than eight years of experience with statistics and surveys. As Tanager’s Technical Officer for the AgResults Kenya On-Farm Storage Challenge Project, she works with diverse stakeholders to achieve project objectives. Ms. Kipkorir recently oversaw a successful rural household survey of 5,647 respondents to assess uptake of hermetic technologies by smallholder farmers. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in statistics from—and is a Master’s in applied statistics finalist at—Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

headshot of andrew gathecha

Andrew Gathecha

Tanager International – Team Leader

Andrew Gathecha is a Team Lead on the AgResults Kenya On-Farm Storage Challenge Project and has more than 15 years of experience in agriculture, health, education, and media sectors. He holds an MBA from Heriot-Watt University and a Bachelor’s degree in business and economics from Kenyatta University. He is a certified public accountant as well as a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya. Mr. Gathecha is pursuing his doctorate in business administration from the University of Newcastle.