Measuring Kenya's Progress on Malabo Declaration Targets

At the African Union Summit in Malabo (Equatorial Guinea) in June 2014, African governments adopted the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods. This Declaration set forth a series of concrete development goals to be reached by 2025, including achieving a 6 percent annual agricultural growth rate and a 10 percent agricultural expenditure share; ending hunger and halving poverty; boosting intra-African trade in agricultural commodities and services; and enhancing resilience to climate variability and other related risks.

To hold countries accountable to the Declaration’s actions and desired results, a review process was established using two sets of metrics. The first set addresses the Declaration’s overarching goals mentioned above; the second set covers metrics that deal with the specific thematic areas laid out under the Malabo Declaration: inclusive growth and value chain development, regional trade, nutrition, gender, climate-smart agriculture, and mutual accountability. Metrics from the CAADP Results Framework 2015-2025 were also incorporated into the review process; these include government agricultural expenditures, agricultural productivity and growth, and agriculture-led growth and poverty reduction.

A recent report from the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System ReSAKSS (facilitated by IFPRI) assesses Kenya’s progress toward the agricultural development goals laid out in the Malabo Declaration and the CAADP framework. Specifically, the study looks at agricultural investment and growth and poverty reduction; inclusive growth and value chain development; regional trade; nutrition; gender issues; and climate-smart agriculture.

To examine these goals at the country level, the study first establishes a baseline measurement with average values for each indicator during the reference period (2003-2007); these are then compared to the average levels for each indicator during the Medium Term Investment Period (MTIP) from 2010-2014. The report mentions, however, that the assessment does not account for crises before and during the MTIP that may have resulted in uneven performance on any of the examined indicators.

In terms of agricultural investment and growth, the assessment finds that Kenya’s government agricultural expenditure growth rate increased significantly during the 2010-2014 period, reaching 5.6 percent. This is a reversal from the negative growth rate of -1.6 percent seen during the reference period. However, agricultural expenditures as a share of total government expenditures remained relatively stagnant during the MTIP, growing only from 3.8 percent to 4.0 percent. The study notes that this is well below the CAADP’s target of 10 percent agricultural spending. In addition, the agricultural growth rate also remained below the CAADP target (6 percent growth per year) during the MTIP, growing 4.8 percent per year on average. 

In terms of poverty reduction, the study notes that limited data prevented an assessment of poverty outcomes between the two periods. Data limitations also played a role in the assessment of progress on inclusive growth and value chain development; the study notes that secondary data were not available many of the agricultural indicators used to examine this goal, including data on post-harvest losses and share of women and youth in agricultural employment. Thus, the assessment focuses on the indicator for which data is available from international databases (FAOSTAT and World Development Indicators): yields for the country’s top five priority commodities. The study defined the top five priority commodities both in terms of value of production (maize, potatoes, bananas, tea, and mangoes) in terms of domestic caloric intake (maize, wheat, milk, sugar, and beans). For Kenya’s most valuable crops (maize, potatoes, bananas, tea, and mangoes), yield trends were mixed between 2003 and 2014. Banana, mango, and potato yields steadily increased between the reference period and the MTIPD, but maize and tea yields fluctuated over the years.

In terms of regional trade, the assessment focuses on changes in the net values of intra-African trade (exports net of imports) for agricultural and food commodities. Food commodities are separated into 17 commodity groups, including staple foods and high-value commodities. From 1998-2003, the study finds that Kenya was an overall net exporter of agricultural products in African markets; however, when looking at individual commodities, it appears that Kenya was a net importer of fish and animal products, edible fruits and nuts, cereals, and sugar during this period. Between 1998-2003 and 2010-2013, however, Kenya significantly reduced its imports of fish and animal products. Kenya’s overall agricultural trade in African markets also increased substantially between the two periods – from USD 62 million to USD 117 million in net exports; however, during the same time, the country also became a net importer, rather than a net exporter, of vegetables.

The study also examines the importance of African markets versus non-African markets as destinations for Kenya’s agricultural exports and as origins for Kenya’s agricultural imports. Kenya’s aggregate agricultural exports to African markets fell by 10 percent during the MTIP (2010-2013 in this case), but there was no significant change in its aggregate agricultural imports from African markets. During the reference period, 16.7 percent of Kenya’s agricultural exports went to African markets and 29 percent of Kenya’s agricultural imports came from African markets; thus, during this period, Kenya participated more in non-African markets than in African markets. However, between the reference period and the MTIP, African markets have gained in importance as destinations for Kenya’s agricultural exports; the country has increased the shares of its exports of live animals, fish and animal products, roots and tubers, coffee and tea, and spices to African markets. No substantial change has occurred in the share of overall agricultural imports stemming from African markets, but there has been an increase in imports of live trees and plants, spices, and oilseeds from African markets.

The study uses FAO’s undernourishment indicator, which measures the proportion of the population not able to meet their energy requirements (kcal/person/day) over a one-year period, to assess progress on nutrition outcomes. Overall undernourishment has fallen in Kenya from 32 percent of the population 1990-1992 to 23 percent in 2010-2012. Stunting, wasting, underweight, and overweight for children under five years of age have also all decreased between the reference period and the MTIP. However, iron and vitamin A deficiencies are still widespread; for example, the study found that 49 percent of children ages 6-23 months were vitamin A deficient in 2013, despite Kenya’s establishment of a national supplementation program. In addition, 33 percent of women of reproductive age were found to be overweight and obese, suggesting that Kenya now faces a double burden of malnutrition. The study emphasizes that future work in the agricultural sector needs to address malnutrition in all its forms and needs to include nutrition-related outcomes and outputs.

The Malabo Declaration and the CAADP Framework look at gender across several thematic issues, rather than viewing it as a stand-alone goal. To do this, it uses the Women’s Empowerment Agriculture Index (WEAI), a survey-based index designed to capture the gender dimensions of production, welfare, and social engagement. The study found that 68.4 percent of Kenyan women were found to be disempowered, while 63.8 percent have not achieved gender parity within their own households. The largest barriers to women’s empowerment appear to be workload, control over use of income, and access to productive resources. 

By: Sara Gustafson, IFPRI

Photo credit:Bonnie McClafferty/IFPRI