Blog Localizing climate finance in Kenyan Counties: Unlocking Opportunities for Climate-Smart Agriculture Investments

Kenyan Climate-Smart Agriculture Finance Investments - Alliance Bioversity International - CIAT

The Kenyan government, in collaboration with stakeholders from national and county governments, academia, private sector, development partners, and NGOs, is prioritizing local-level financing and collaborative efforts to unlock opportunities for climate-smart agriculture investments, building farmers' resilience and attracting additional climate finance for sustainable agricultural projects.

By: Owen Kimani, Noël Templer, Dorcas Jalang'o Anyango, Ivy Kinyua

Kenya’s heavy reliance on climate-sensitive natural resources makes the agricultural sector highly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. The Kenyan government underscores the importance of local-level financing for implementing Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) at the County (local) level and supporting the growth of the agriculture sector. Therefore, it has prioritized building resilience through the allocation of financial resources towards climate change adaptation and mitigation interventions.  

Recognizing the need for localized action, Kenyan counties with support from the National government -under the Treasury, have taken significant steps towards climate change finance. Establishing the County Climate Change Funds (CCCFs) has been instrumental in mainstreaming climate change adaptation into local planning and budgeting. These funds have not only facilitated investments in climate resilience but have also attracted blended climate finance from multilateral develop facilitated investments in climate resilience and development banks, the private sector, and international climate funds. The Financing Locally Led Climate Action (FLLoCA) program under the Ministry of Finance and National Treasury has complemented these efforts by providing finance1 for climate actions and strengthening County Governments' (CGs') climate risk management capacities.  Key performance areas that Counties need to focus on for accessibility of the FLLoCA funds include i) enactment of policies and regulations that enable finance flows, ii) establishment of CCCFs and Climate Change Units (CCUs), and iii) community participation, and establishment of County Climate Resilient Investment (CCRI) plans.  

Mr. Simon Ochieng - National Treasury Kenya - FLLoCA program - Climate-Smart Agriculture Investments  - Alliance Bioversity International - CIAT

Mr. Simon Ochieng from the National Treasury, providing an overview of the FLLoCA program 

The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT (The Alliance) is leveraging the precondition of establishing CCRIs (County Climate Resilient Investment) to support the Counties in accessing and utilizing FLLoCA funds. This The CSAIP, developed in 2022, is a comprehensive document that identifies high-potential and suitable investments and development projects contributing to climate adaptation and mitigation. It was developed through a collaborative effort involving the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development's climate change unit (MOALD-CCU) and the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Multistakeholder platform (KCSA-MSP). This collaborative approach involved key stakeholders such as academia, the private sector, development partners, NGOs, and research organizations. 

Dr. Evan Girvetz -  Climate-Smart Agriculture Investments - Alliance Bioversity International - CIAT

Dr. Evan Girvetz from the Alliance, presenting how CSA planning and investment can be implemented at the local level 

The successful implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation actions at the local level requires collaborative efforts between diverse stakeholders from the national and county governments.  However, there is a need for equipping stakeholders with the necessary skills to manage financial resources dedicated to climate change initiatives and effectively deliver community-led climate actions. Cognitive of this, ABC and the MOALD-CCU organized a three-day capacity building workshop with national stakeholders between 20th-22nd June 2023 in Machakos County, Kenya to: 

  • Create awareness and sensitize them on the FLLoCA program and requirements for accessing climate funds 

  • Enhance their understand on the prioritization process for bankable climate-resilient investments highlighted in the CSAIP 

  • Develop preliminary designs and guidance for implementing and monitoring project investments at the county level 

  • Foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among stakeholders to unlock private and public finance for sustainable investments in climate-smart agriculture. 

National stakeholders who participated in the capacity building workshop

National stakeholders who participated in the capacity building workshop 

As a strategy for scaling up CSA investments at the County Level, and enabling access to FLLoCA funds, the workshop participants collectively resolved to conduct a series of workshops in selected Counties to implement the following; 

  1. Engage relevant stakeholders at the county level to communicate the importance of embedding the priorities of the national CSA strategy and implementation framework and FLLoCA guidelines as tools for unlocking local climate finance. 

  1. Facilitate a participatory process to localize the CSAIP to the specific context of the county, considering local climate risks, agricultural systems, available support infrastructure and community needs. 

  1. Support Counties in developing action plans and investment portfolios based on the prioritized interventions, ensuring coherence with the FLLoCA guidelines and eligibility criteria. 

  1. Foster partnerships with stakeholders who can provide technical expertise to support county stakeholders in their local plans and interventions. 

  1. Document and disseminate success stories and case studies of CSA interventions in the pilot counties to highlight the benefits, challenges, and replication potential, thereby inspiring and motivating other counties to scale up their CSA and climate action efforts. 

Climate Smart Agriculture Investments - Kenya - Alliance Bioversity International - CIAT

Stakeholders’ holding discussions on the best strategy to scale-up CSA investments in the Counties