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Billion Dollar Business Alliance for Rainwater Harvesting
Description/achievement of initiative

WFP, ICRAF and partners envision building an integrated farm pond support system capable of expanding and sustaining the massive upscaling of farm pond technology. The business plan addresses the sustainability factors that comprise a success upscaling system: financial, institutional, environmental, technical, and social. The plan embodies a support system that centers around the farm household and what it needs to take advantage of the technology.Outcomes: responsive financing system; increased access to water for horticultural and livestock production; enhanced policy support for rainwater harvesting governance; enhanced sustainable drylands farming systems and ecosystem services; improved farmer incomes, livelihoods and climate resilience.

Implementation methodologies

The multi-actor Billion Dollar Business Alliance (BDBA) adopts a business approach to scaling up farm pond technology in SSA, which will initially be piloted, tested and perfected in Kenya before rolling it out to other potential countries in Eastern, Southern and Western Africa that fall within a predetermined biophysical and socioeconomic criteria. The choice of Kenya is strategic due to her long history in promoting rainwater harvesting for agribusiness development. This notwithstanding, other countries ready to roll out the business plan are immediately welcome to join the initiative and concurrently implement it through joint co-learning. The BDBA’s business approach is to create a platform for converging like-minded practitioners that need to collaborate to ensure successful scaling up of farm pond technology. The BDBA is a ‘one-stop-shop’ for smallholder farmers to acquire all the necessary ingredients/inputs (technology, financing, training/capacity, inputs, markets, etc.) to support the production system and enhance linkage with markets; hence foster value-chain based agro-enterprise development. To ensure better production and faster returns on investment, the BDBA will adopt an innovative financing mechanism, Built, Manage and Transfer (BMT). BMT will reduce risks to both the farmers and financial institutions (lending partners). Under the BMT financing model, BDBA will guarantee production, marketing and repayment of loans by farmers by working closely with farmers to build the system, manage it to ensure optimal production, link farmers to markets, and once the investment cost is recouped, transfer operation and maintenance to farmers while continuing to strengthen marketing linkages. The BDBA will also incorporate agro-enterprise insurance to further reduce the risks to farmers and lenders. BDBA will ensure that farmers have access to appropriate technology (dam-liners, drip irrigation, pumps and greenhouses) alongside technical support from government, NGO’s and private sectors (inputs and marketing) who will ensure that the farmer’s crops are profitable and marketable, in order for farmers to repay loans. With such support, farmers can jump-start their household's pathway out of poverty. Such transformation is what is happening in many WFP sites in Kenya as well as in ICRAF supported sites in Nakuru and Makueni Counties in Kenya, and otherpilot areas in eastern and southern Africa.

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

The adaptability of farm pond technology is based on low skill requirements, which makes it easier to train local artisans to site, construct and operate the technology. Scaling up of the technology will lead to mass training and employment for youth groups, and rural entrepreneurship for construction and technical backstopping. Appropriate local capacity building and awareness creation on farm pond technology and responsive financing mechanisms will enhance on-farm production skills as well as financial inclusion. In addition to technical and financial training, there will a strong focus on community organization and planning in order to enhance group dynamics, social reciprocity and collective responsibility. There will also be training for strengthening of marketing groups and/or cooperatives.

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

Not yet determined, however a Secretariat will be established at Searnet/ICRAF, Nairobi, in the coming months.Current status: 1. The BDBA partners have committed institutionally to the project.2. Partners have the technical support in place with the skills to advise farmers on the proper siting and construction of farm ponds. These technicians are both private entrepreneurs and partner/agency staff. 3. Communities are already being mobilized by WFP and WVI through current or new producer groups, farmers’ groups, or women’s groups. 4. Loan programs are being developed, spearheaded by a bank, a micro-credit institution, or an NGO. In Kenya, several banks including Equity Bank, Chase Bank and Rafiki DTM, have launched loan programs to target Kenyan farmers and youth. As these programs grow in size they will be further capitalized by investors/donors, and risk coverage provided by insurance underwriters (WFP is testing a pilot insurance scheme in October, 2016). An exploration of how village savings can be linked with credit institutions to facilitate upscaling is taking place.5. Through WFP's P4P programme, markets are being linked to smallholder producers to provide the profitable opportunities for expanding their production. Value chains need to be developed. 6. The plan has strong support of the Kenyan and county governments in providing technical assistance and the enabling environment for transforming livelihoods.7. The plan has budget commitment from most of the partners and a commitment by them to begin implementation in July. 8. The plan has been presented to donors at the global level (at COP21) and in Kenya to the ASAL Donor Group. A number of funding proposals are pending.


The International Agro-forestry Center (ICRAF/CGIAR) , the World Food Programme (Kenya), World Vision International, Kenya Rainwater Harvesting Association, Kenya Climate Innovation Center, Equity Bank and G-North, Kenya Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Water and Environmrnt
Progress reports
Goal 2
2.1 - By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round
2.2 - By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons
2.3 - By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment
2.4 - By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality
2.5 - By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed
2.a - Increase investment, including through enhanced international cooperation, in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, technology development and plant and livestock gene banks in order to enhance agricultural productive capacity in developing countries, in particular least developed countries
2.b - Correct and prevent trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets, including through the parallel elimination of all forms of agricultural export subsidies and all export measures with equivalent effect, in accordance with the mandate of the Doha Development Round
2.c - Adopt measures to ensure the proper functioning of food commodity markets and their derivatives and facilitate timely access to market information, including on food reserves, in order to help limit extreme food price volatility
Goal 13
13.1 - Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
Goal 15
15.3 - By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world
December 2016
Establishment of supporting financial frameworks (village loan associations, banks, insurance) - completion date
January 2017
Start of farm pond scale-up against the business plan
Farmer mobilization and sensitization
September 2016
Technical baseline and market survey - completion date
Staff / Technical expertise
All partners
Other, please specify
ICRAF and WVI on going project activities
Other, please specify
WFP support for productive assets in the ASAL counties of Kenya (80,000,000 annually)

Basic information
Time-frame: 07/2016 - on-going
The International Agro-forestry Center (ICRAF/CGIAR) , the World Food Programme (Kenya), World Vision International, Kenya Rainwater Harvesting Association, Kenya Climate Innovation Center, Equity Bank and G-North, Kenya Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Water and Environmrnt
Contact information
Randall Purcell, Senior Advisor and Manager, Rural Resilience, Randall.purcell@wfp.org
United Nations