Centre for Environment, Agriculture and Food Security (CEAFS)



The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet. The Government of Kenya is committed to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) as adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. SDGs address the economic, social and environmental dimensions of development in a comprehensive and integrated manner. The development of Centre for Environment, Agriculture and Food Security (CEAFS)  concept note has outlined the Centre’s commitment to the attainment of the following goals; Goal 1: No poverty, Goal 2: Zero hunger by 2030: Goal 3: Good health and well-being: Goal 5: Gender equality: Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production: Goal 13: Climate Action to mitigate effect of Climate Change: and Goal 15: Life on land. The CEAFS is anchored on the Kenyan Constitution. The Constitution under Article 43 (c) includes a comprehensive Bill of Rights that provides for the right to be free from hunger, and to have adequate food of acceptable quality. The Kenya Vision 2030 articulates the national development agenda for the country and outlines the process of transforming Kenya into a newly-industrializing middle-income country by providing a high quality of life to all its citizens in a clean and secure environment by the year 2030. The Vision comprise of three pillars namely; Economic, Social and Political. The three pillars are anchored on foundations for social economic transformation. The Fourth Medium Term Plan focuses on implementation of strategic interventions aimed at driving Kenya’s economy towards a sustainable growth path. The Plan has adopted the theme ‘Accelerating socio-economic transformation to a more competitive, inclusive and resilient economy’, and is anchored on the Kenya Kwanza’s government five core pillars that are expected to have the highest impact at the bottom of the economy. These are: Agricultural Transformation and Inclusive Growth; transforming the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) Economy; Housing and Settlement; Healthcare; and Digital Superhighway and Creative Economy. The Fourth Medium Term Plan of Vision 2030 (MTP IV 2023-2027) seeks to increase agricultural productivity to spur economic growth, employment creation and support agro-processing. MTP IV incorporates the Bottom up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA). Climate change continues to present a growing and significant global challenge to humanity and the biosphere in the 21st century. There is increasing evidence that climate change directly affects the social, economic and human development of countries. In Kenya, climate change is likely to negatively impact the development programmes, including the achievement of the goals of Kenya Vision 2030 – the long-term development blueprint – and the Government’s Bottom Up Economic Transformation Agenda for 2023-2027. Agriculture is the bedrock of the development of Kenya.The Agriculture sector contributes 21.2% of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Achieving the country’s potential in agriculture will grow the economy, enhance food security, improve farmer incomes, lower the cost of food, alleviate poverty and increase employment. Building on and complementing long-standing efforts to address livelihood challenges, CEAFS is expanding efforts to advance food and nutrition security and sustainable environment use essential to optimal health and well-being. At the local level, the

  1. Harness a holistic research agenda to build a more sustainable, resilient, equitable and nourishing food system.
  2. Promote a sustainable and resilient transformation in environmental conservation and rapid response to environmental risks.
  3. Integrate climate-smart agriculturefor transformative discoveries, education, and community engagement.
  4. Foster inclusive partnership for knowledge sharing, effective implementation, support targeted capacity building and to drive results and share risk
  • Increase small-scale farmer incomes and household food resilience through community-driven design of interventions targeting 5,000 farmers in Siaya County
  • Increase agricultural output and value-add-Establish 2 small -scale agro- and food processing hubs in Siaya County through public private partnership process targeting both domestic and export market
  • Actively monitor environmental risks and promote sustainable natural resource management targeting restoration of 3,000 acres Yala swamp

A majority of roughly 800 million hungry people in the world depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Kenya, like many nations across the globe, faces one critical challenge of transforming its food systems to secure a brighter future for its people, nature, and the climate. The country’s food systems currently are unsustainable, contributing to national carbon emissions, biodiversity loss, and widespread hunger and malnutrition, particularly among women and children. Equally food supply chains have become more volatile, and prone to disruptions. The journey towards transforming Kenya’s food systems and environmental conservation is a complex but essential one. CEAFS is at the forefront of this transformation, promoting science-based solutions and fostering a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. The center will embracee inclusivity and innovation as vital enablers of food system transformation and sustainable environment. CEAFS will play a key role in implementing an integrated food system that is guided by science while leveraging scientific expertise to shape food secure, transformative agriculture and sustainable environment ecosystem. Improving agricultural productivity is central to alleviating hunger. CEAFS seek to address feeding the community without destroying the environment in the process. Together with its partners, the Center will provide a clear roadmap towards a better, more equitable, and environmentally responsible food system for the community

  1. A disciplined focus on evidence-based outcomes aligned with Kenya’s national agenda around environment, agriculture and food security that have been vetted by key implementing partners for their feasibility, innovation, and inclusion of digital, research and data-driven tools.
  2. A strong bias for partnership with stakeholders to drive results and share risk through a fully incorporated prioritization of impact and budgets from the design phase
  3. A coordinated response to food system risks in the community including sustainable land, soil and water use, climate-smart and climate resilient agriculture, and crisis responses to pests, disease and environment degradation
  • Establish a Knowledge Hub on Urban Food Systems for Kisumu City- The Knowledge Hub collates research (in varying forms, such as publications, videos, books, podcasts etc) about urban food systems. It should have advanced search and filtering functionality (i.e. resources are tagged with a variety of searchable categories including theme, resource type, location and keywords).
  • Furthering support for climate change and environmental conservation initiatives: Green economy, climate resilient pathways, increased afforestation and improve natural resource management to prevent future shocks.
  • Promotion of environmental health and biodiversity: increase productivity while maintaining and conserving the environment and biodiversity
  • Establishment of data science for food security- Big data and new analytical techniques mean better measurements and more targeted solutions to food security
  • Promotion of climate impacts mitigation and adaptation initiatives - Climate change impacts global food security, and it amplifies threat to community health, stability and economic prosperity including regenerative and drought resilient agriculture and aquaculture, as well as other sustainable and climate smart investments.
  • Establishment of tropical fruit crops- for protecting ecosystems and promoting small holder farmer livelihoods
  • Gender equality, youth, and social inclusion: Improve the lives and livelihoods of women, youth, and other marginalized groups-vital for equitable, resilient food systems
  • Promotion of food, nutrition and health- For small holder farmers and their families, food security is closely tied to nutrition and health. to increase investments in efforts to adapt the most important indigenous and orphan crops to climate change.  This initiative will identify the most important crops for nutrition in amongst community members through a multi-stakeholder process; assess how these crops will perform under climate change; and invest in yield improvement efforts for these crops.
  • Community-Engaged Business Incubation: Develop and incubate ideas into businesses so as to start agribusinesses that will generate wealth and transform local agricultural activities.
  • Community-Engaged Outreach: To transfer technologies and information that produce tangible benefits. A helpdesk will be established to receive, answer or refer farmers in an effort to solve their problems.
  • Establishment of aquaculture and fisheries- Aquaculture and fisheries must be managed for food security and sustainability to meet rising demands
  • Increase access to water resources- Access to ground water and irrigation helps the farmers to brake cycle of poverty, hunger and malnutrition.
  • Investment in crop and livestock systems- As global demand for crops, meat and sea food rises, pressure of agricultural systems intensifies
  • Short courses to graduate and undergraduate students interested in issues of hunger, rural development, global resource and environmental degradation and climate impacts on food security
  • No major disruptions will occur in the University operating environment
  • The legal and regulatory frameworks will remain stable
  • The requisite human and financial resources will be available
  • There will be goodwill from stakeholders

Sustainability of the Centre

Centre sustainability is key to continued benefit of the research outputs and practical solutions to the target beneficiaries. Therefore, identifying possible challenges and their mitigation measures will ensure continuity of the center and its ownership. The CEAFS has identified some of the potential challenges and mitigation strategies as described below:

Financial sustainability is a major challenge of any institution. To mitigate this challenge CEAFS will continue to diversify funding sources through collaborative grants application to fund its activities. Further, the center will develop a sustainable business model for its commodities to commercialize some its outputs. Capacity Building of the community will ensure that individuals have the necessary skills and resources to continue implementing center projects. CEAFS will develop mechanism to continuously engage the stakeholders who are mostly community members, partners, and policymakers in the sector. This will be achieved through regular communication to provide updates on some of Centre project progress and impact and their involvement and participation in decision-making processes. Continuously assessing the project's performance and impact will be vital for sustainability. The center will develop key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the targets to track progress through monitoring and evaluation. Preservation of knowledge and intellectual property generated from center projects will be key for sustainability. The knowledge management will be achieved through; documenting processes and best practices by developing manuals and guides. Mentorship programs through exchange experiences for stakeholders will be used to facilitate knowledge transfer. The intellectual property protection through patents or copyrights for project innovations will be guaranteed. Empowering the community to take ownership of center project will ensure its long-term sustainability. This will be achieved through capacity-building initiatives and participatory decision-making approaches, provision of training and resources to empower local leaders and organizations. Therefore, the project will ensure involvement of community members in planning and implementation processes as well as fostering collaborations with community-based organizations and grassroots