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The power of alignment: Insight into the Kenya Coffee Platform one year since its launch

Tackling the challenges affecting the coffee industry in Kenya together – through multi-stakeholder cooperation – will be critical for the country to achieve its goal of doubling national production and improving the income of Kenyan farmers.

This premise has become the foundation of the Kenya Coffee Platform (KCP), which was launched in July 2018. One year on, the platform has promoted cooperation and enhanced learning of the members with the importance of collaboration gaining broad support, including – crucially – President Uhuru Kenyatta, who announced the initiation of a number of institutional, legal and support-services interventions intended to “reverse the negative trends in Coffee industry and assure the future of Coffee farming in Kenya”.

The platform, supported by partners, has today clearly articulated the challenges facing the industry in Kenya, while bringing members together to work on collective solutions. In addition, the platform has recognized the importance of working with regional governments. Since the adoption of the country’s new constitution, agriculture has been devolved; working with regional government structures now play a crucial role in improving local coffee farming.

During its first year, the platform has also sought to catalyze the efforts of all stakeholders with a focus on knowledge dissemination and capacity building. Research on common challenges such as value loss and gain has been made available to stakeholders through various and appropriate materials to ensure that stakeholders working with farmers have the latest knowledge for capacity building. The KCP has also worked with county governments to facilitate passing of the knowledge to even more needy farmers.

Highlights of the platform’s year included knowledge-sharing sessions officiated by local government officials. A meeting in Nyeri, for example, showcased the successful training of 800 officers by the county, a result of the deployment of eight master trainers who worked with county officials using the Kenya Coffee Manual - aligned training materials published by the Kenya Coffee Platform.

As the platform moves into its second year, the goal is to reach more counties and ensure availability and efficient delivery of knowledge. This second phase of growth, which will see a greater focus on partner collaboration and resource alignment and scaling up the roll out of the Kenya Coffee Manual,  which has again been supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH through the Global Coffee Platform, Rainforest Alliance and Solidaridad, among others.