The impact of Bioversity International’s African Leafy Vegetables Programme in Kenya

One of the objectives of Bioversity International is to promote income and food security by ensuring that agricultural biodiversity is conserved, characterized and used to improve productivity. The African Leafy Vegetables (ALVs) programme was initiated and implemented to meet this objective. Since the programme was concluded almost five years ago, no impact evaluation has been carried out. Thus the purpose of this study is twofold: to evaluate the role played by Bioversity and its partners in the programme, and to assess the impact of the ALVs programme on the livelihoods of farmers in Kisii, Tharaka, Kilifi and peri-urban Nairobi. The study utilized both secondary and primary data. Primary data was generated between June and July 2007, using 211 randomly selected households stratified into participant and control households. Information from the survey was complemented by focus group discussions. To assess the role of Bioversity and its partners, all the partners, both directly and indirectly related to the project, were identified and interviewed. Bioversity was found to have ably acted as catalyst, facilitator and coordinator of the programme. Results further showed that production, consumption and marketing of ALVs had increased since 1997, women still dominated most of the ALVs activities, and those households that marketed ALVs were relatively well off than those that did not.