Kenya’s economy, the largest in East Africa, has witnessed a period of recent stability, with increased credit access to the private sector, investment in infrastructure, and growth in key sectors such as tourism, renewable energy, and information and communication technology (ICT). 

At the same time, unemployment and poverty rates remain high, with 35 percent of Kenyans living on less than a dollar per day, and food insecurity looms large due to poor farming methods and vulnerability to drought. TechnoServe, which has operated in Kenya since 1973, is well-positioned to address these challenges and contribute to the realization of the country’s aspirations through market-led approaches. Currently, TechnoServe is focusing on livestock, coffee, horticulture, food processing and entrepreneurship development, with an emphasis on engaging youth and women.

On The Ground



Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program in Ethiopia and Kenya

The Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program is a unique green coffee sourcing approach that combines a focus on quality, sustainability, and productivity. It aims to secure a stable supply of the highest quality coffee for Nespresso, while simultaneously improving the livelihoods of the farmers that grow it through the lens of environmental protection. In 2013, Nespresso and TechnoServe entered into a partnership to pilot the rollout of the Nespresso AAA Program in Africa.
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Strengthening African Processors of Fortified Foods

“Hidden hunger” is a form of undernutrition affecting millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa. Caused by micronutrient deficiencies, it has been linked to numerous health and development issues. Food fortification is a cost-effective strategy for addressing hidden hunger. The Strengthening African Processors of Fortified Foods Project helps food companies in Africa to improve their capacity to produce and sell fortified foods for local markets, and provide consumers the nutrition they need to lead healthy, productive lives.
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Solutions for African Food Enterprises

Solutions for African Food Enterprises (SAFE) was a public-private partnership between TechnoServe, Partners in Food Solutions, and USAID that aimed to increase the competitiveness of the African food processing sector to expand availability of affordable and nutritious foods to local populations. The program benefited more than 1,000 food processors who source from more than 800,000 smallholder farmers in five countries.
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Coffee Initiative

The Coffee Initiative worked with local farmers in East Africa to improve agronomy and business practices, establish new coffee cooperatives and strengthen existing ones, and help cooperatives create business plans and access financing for wet mills.
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Project Nurture

A partnership with The Coca-Cola Company and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Project Nurture aimed to help more than 50,000 small-scale mango and passion fruit farmers in Kenya and Uganda double their fruit incomes. TechnoServe and its partners worked with farmers to identify new market opportunities, improve productivity and develop strong farmer business groups.


Kenya, Uganda
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Strengthening Rural Youth Development through Enterprise

TechnoServe is partnering with The MasterCard Foundation to help rural young people ages 18 to 30 in East Africa transition to economic independence.
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Technical Assistance Facility

Access to finance is an obstacle to entrepreneurship, particularly in the agricultural sector in Africa. The African Agriculture Fund (AAF), a private equity fund, was created to help increase investment in agriculture and agribusiness in the region with the ultimate objective of increasing food security. TechnoServe serves as the implementing agency of the Technical Assistance Facility (TAF), which provides technical assistance to the portfolio companies invested in by the AAF. The TAF is funded primarily by the European Union and managed by IFAD. As of 2016 the TAF has funded 32 projects with 10 portfolio companies across Africa and supported five SMEs with their growth strategies. TAF has committed €3.6m and has €3.4m remaining for projects in the pipeline.
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Connected Farmer Alliance

The Connected Farmer Alliance (CFA) is a public-private partnership that seeks to promote commercially sustainable mobile agriculture solutions and increase productivity and revenues for 500,000 smallholder farmers across Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique. The program also aims to increase revenues for agribusinesses and agricultural value chain service providers.
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Pan-African Youth Entrepreneur Development (PAYED)

Entrepreneurship presents a path toward economic independence for young men and women in Africa, particularly when formal employment opportunities are scarce, and the poverty rate among working youth is at nearly 70 percent. Small mom-and-pop retail shops play a critical role in many low-income communities by providing income for entrepreneurs, creating jobs, and increasing access to everyday products. TechnoServe and Citi Foundation are partnering to scale up a proven model that helps mom-and-pop shops become more profitable by connecting entrepreneurs with the knowledge, training, and tools they need to become successful retailers. Launched in October 2017, the Pan-African Youth Entrepreneur Development (PAYED) program will provide training and tailored advisory support 600 young entrepreneurs in Kenya, Nigeria, and Côte d’Ivoire to develop opportunities in the micro-retail sector. The one-year program will target young entrepreneurs who are owners, managers, or employees of existing shops, while also piloting activities to help motivated youth launch new micro-retail enterprises. Through training and coaching, the program aims to increase adoption of best practices by 70 percent and increase sales by 30 percent.


Citi Foundation

Innovations in Outcome Measurement

Proven tools, methodologies and approaches that drive accurate and consistent outcome measurement remain a key challenge across international agricultural development. In partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, TechnoServe’s Innovation in Outcome Measurement (IOM) project aims to identify breakthrough innovations capable of transforming agriculture and to develop a framework for scaling these innovations for business use. IOM is working to identify and test accurate, consistent and cost-effective measurement tools and methodologies for evaluating the outcomes of agricultural projects. The project also aims to identify the evidence needed by a range of relevant stakeholders to drive larger scale adoption of innovative agriculture technologies.

Mobile Training for Rural Farmers

With large rural populations in Africa, it can be difficult to reach farmers for training and traveling to training can be costly and time consuming for farmers. The Mobile Training Unit project is an innovative agricultural extension training approach, which allows for large groups of smallholder farmers to receive audio and visual training lessons in rural areas. In 2013, John Deere and TechnoServe launched the Mobile Training Unit (MTU) project to help farmers in Ghana and Kenya. The project not only provides training through videos and hands-on demonstration, but also strengthens the organizations and linkages that farmers need to prosper and – increasingly – helps these farmers to enjoy the benefits of mechanization. Since 2014, the project has benefitted 47,194 people, helping them to earn an extra $29.9 million of income.


John Deere


Ghana, Kenya
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Improving Potato and Tomato Yields in Kenya

Demand for potatoes has increased in Kenya, where it can be a substitute for staple grains like maize, which experience high price fluctuation. Similarly, tomatoes are also becoming an important vegetable in the Kenyan diet. However, the supply of both vegetables is hampered by low productivity and weak market structure. TechnoServe, in partnership with Syngenta, is working to increase productivity and improve the market for these crops through the Mavuno Zaidi project, which aims to provide quality crop inputs, improve access to finance, and enhance the capacity of market service centers for farmers in the Rift Valley and Eastern Kenya. Since its launch in March 2016, the project has benefitted over 8,800 farmers, helping them to generate nearly $5 million in increased revenue.





Reducing Losses in the Mango Value Chain

Post-harvest losses in the value chain reduce incomes for mango farmers in Kenya. TechnoServe in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation launched the YieldWise pilot in July of 2015 to address key areas where post-harvest losses can be reduced, increasing incomes for farmers and the sustainability of the mango value chain in the Kenyan market. TechnoServe is working to test various technologies to improve the storage of the fruit and as of the end of 2015, a total of over 4,000 farmers had been trained in loss reduction methods. Additionally, TechnoServe is providing training to farmers and farmer business organizations on post-harvest loss prevention techniques. The program also hopes to increase market demand for the fruit by linking farmers to new potential buyers and appropriate value chain actors to financing.



Smart Duka: Empowering Shopkeepers in Nairobi

"Mom and pop” shops play a critical role in developing economies around the world. In Kenya, where they are known as dukas, these small retail shops supply roughly 80 percent of consumer goods and are often run by women or families. But dukas face many challenges to efficiency, resulting in lower earnings for their owners. In partnership with the elea Foundation and Citi Foundation, TechnoServe is working to increase the profitability of 840 high-potential shops in Nairobi, the majority of which are women-operated or women-owned. Launched in late 2015, the Smart Duka initiative builds on the success of a similar effort in Latin America. The project provides one-on-one consulting and group training to improve marketing and merchandising; general business skills; relationships with lenders, suppliers and customers; and coordination amongst shops. The project is also exploring practical digital solutions that will enable Nairobi’s shopkeepers to manage inventory efficiently and make mobile payments.



Kenya Market Assistance Program

The Kenya Market Assistance Program helps to promote employment and income generation in various market systems in Kenya by addressing key constraints to growth in these sectors. TechnoServe works to strengthen the dairy sector through improved breeding, feed, veterinary services and supply chain management. To date, TechnoServe has supported two dairy cooperatives, with a combined membership of 13,000 farmers to help set up a hay production business to improve feed for the cows.



Developing Smallholder Poultry Agribusiness

The Smallholder Poultry Agribusiness Development (SPADE) initiative aims to sustainably improve the livelihoods of 12,000 smallholder poultry producers of indigenous chicken. Operating in Western and Nyanza provinces, SPADE comprises three primary activities: sustainably improving smallholder farmer poultry production; expanding access to financial services for smallholder poultry farmers; and improving poultry market access for smallholder poultry farmers.



Blog Posts

August 12, 2019

On International Youth Day, Celebrating the Next Generation of Change

In celebration of International Youth Day, we are sharing stories from a few of the many young people who have graduated from TechnoServe's programs around the world.

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July 18, 2019

Addressing Chronic Malnutrition Through Food Fortification

Chronic malnutrition is a widespread issue that has serious health impacts, particularly for children. When implemented in a business-friendly way, food fortification offers a relatively simple solution.

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June 26, 2019

Can Tech Improve Kenya’s Micro-Retail Sector?

TechnoServe’s projects yield a wealth of lessons that can help us – and others – improve our work. In this series, we reflect on the lessons we have learned from our programs in Africa, India, and Latin America, sharing insights from program staff.

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TechnoServe Kenya

Kalson Towers, 8th Floor
The Crescent, Westlands
P.O. Box 14821-00800
Nairobi, Kenya

Tel: +254 20 3754333
Fax: +254 20 3751028

John Logan

Country Director



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