International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology

Unlocking employment opportunities by scaling tsetse control in eastern Africa

Lead Organization

International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology

Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

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Project Summary

Agriculture is the major employer in Africa with up to half the population depending on it solely for income. However, tsetse flies which are native to Africa transmit nagana that kills livestock and reduces their efficiency thus limiting agricultural productivity, leading to annual economic losses of approximately US$2.5 billion and consequent unemployment/underemployment. This project brings together a partnership with more than 40 years of experience in developing and deploying tsetse control tools and creating income and jobs for underserved populations through sustainable agriculture. We have the tools to suppress tsetse and improve livestock productivity, diversify agriculture, promote equitable and sustainable agri-preneurship to create jobs. Controlling tsetse will result in improved livestock health and agricultural productivity thus improve food and nutrition security, employment opportunities and assets that enable the farmer to achieve other goals (access to quality food, education for children, access healthcare, green energy, clean water).

Problem Statement

Unemployment in rural East Africa is critical among the rural youth where informal jobs within the agricultural sector are vulnerable to natural impacts like drought and diseases. Smallholder farmers are unable to utilize their farms effectively to produce enough and create employment. Young women are disproportionately disadvantaged in rural employment. A demographic dividend, where productive youth compared are more than children and post-employment population, will not be realised unless they have quality education and decent employment. Where this is lacking the likely outcome will be a lost generation with socio-economic and political upheaval of unknown magnitude. Poor agricultural productivity results in inadequate nutrition, and stunting that already affects 35% of children under 5 years.Smallholder farming is mainly for subsistence with production sub-optimal. Farming is therefore not attracting young people. In the two countries, the average age of farmers is 58-60, yet 70% of the population is under 35. The regions of Kenya and Ethiopia with the highest poverty and lowest work for pay, are also in the tsetse belt. Tsetse control efforts have largely been small-scale, and many smallholder farmers do not recognize their potential to provide meaningful employment within the community.Controlling tsetse flies removes a major barrier to agricultural development. Envisioning smallholder farmers, providing skills and tools enable them to turn their farms into productive hubs that create employment, and addresses some challenges of the ‘youth bulge’ in eastern Africa. This would help change the perception that farming is for those not employable, or have retired.

Solution Overview

This solution removes tsetse and nagana as a significant barrier to livestock productivity. This is then consolidated through enhancement of sustainable livelihoods for smallholder livestock and crop farmers, through an integrated vector and parasite control approach, farm/community level advancements and farm practices that ensure sustainable productivity that creates employment and has high returns. This provides opportunities for employment and income generation. Send A Cow has demonstrated that this approach gives a return on investment of US$6 for every US$1 invested. The tsetse and nagana control approach provide employment within the community and ensures that these skills are retained in the community.A comprehensive baseline assessment will be done at two main levels: (i) tsetse distribution, abundance and species diversity, and status of nagana in livestock; (ii) employment and income, gender inclusion, socio-economic indicators. Impact surveys will be undertaken annually. Appropriate tools will be used to ease and enhance accuracy. The solution will have impact on a wide geographic area of tsetse-infestation in Kenya and Ethiopia, and significant depth at household and community level in gender and social inclusion, farming systems and enterprise development including the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).The key beneficiaries will be 2 million smallholder livestock and crop farming households (ca. 10-12 million people) in tsetse-infested lands, the youth and women. We also use the value chain approach to job creation, enhance value chains (aggregators, value addition, marketers), consumers and innovation incubators; in addition to improving food and nutrition security.

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