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Cablegate: The Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative: Diplomatic

DE RUEHNR #0048/01 0111217
R 111216Z JAN 10



E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 127466; STATE 124059




1. Post appreciates the Department's interest in implementing the
President's Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative (GHFSI) in
Kenya. We believe Kenya could become a successful GHFSI partner
country and our engagement could catalyze market-driven
agricultural reform in the region. Despite existing agricultural
inefficiencies resulting from poorly designed production and
production-procurement policies, high tariffs and non-tariff
barriers, Kenya has taken positive steps during the past two years
toward developing an improved policy framework and functional
mechanisms - considered by the Government of Kenya (GOK) to comply
with the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Program
(CAADP) principles -- that could facilitate a successful GHFSI
program. Kenya is strategically important to the U.S. given its
proximity to Sudan and Somalia, and acts as a regional hub for
trade and a driver of economic growth in East Africa.

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2. Post enjoys strong bilateral and multilateral reach with both
bilateral and regional USAID presence, Foreign Agriculture Service,
Foreign Commercial Service and other key agencies. The presence of
headquarters and regional centers of multiple international
organizations and foundations dealing with agriculture and rural
development provides a unique opportunity for multilateral and
public-private partnerships. As described in detail in the
Mission's draft Global Hunger and Food Security FY 2010
Implementation Plan, the existing strong partnership between the
U.S. and Kenya on agriculture, combined with the success of current
USG strategic development programs in the sector, will serve as an
effective platform for mobilizing GHFSI activities and achieving
results quickly. We are also fortunate that our new DCM, who
serves as post's point-of-contact for the GHFSI, came to us from
three years as the DCM to the U.S. Mission to the U.N. Agencies in
Rome, where he participated in discussions of global agricultural
issues with G8, G20, NGO, and multilateral participants leading up
to the L'Aquila Food Security Initiative. The Ambassador and DCM
are strongly committed to working with Kenya to become a model for
the GHFSI, working in partnership with public, private, academic,
and multilateral partners.

3. In sum, we believe this is an opportune time to increase our
engagement with the right kind of investments in capacity-building,
policy-development, staple food value chain development, and
related interventions to push Kenya toward reaching its potential
to become food secure. Real success in the agricultural sector
will, however, require the GOK's commitment to the political reform
agenda, including the critical fight against corruption, that
overarches all of Kenya's fundamental problems. That is why our
approach on GHFSI will be fully integrated into the larger USG
policy strategy here. With a more consistent demonstration of
political will to enact reforms, the GOK can do much more to
advance sustainable food security in Kenya. Below follows the
country team's consensus on appropriate diplomatic actions to
implement the GHFSI.




4. Despite Kenya's potential for achieving food security, there
are consistently two to four million people receiving emergency

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food aid each year. Kenya currently faces a short-term food
security crisis as a result of drought and the effects of
post-election violence. Chronic food insecurity exacerbated by a
continued rise in food prices and poor urban and rural purchasing
power has contributed to increased malnutrition. Humanitarian
agencies are currently providing emergency food aid to 3.8 million
(an increase from 2.6 million last year) pastoralists,
agro-pastoralists, and marginal agricultural households. In
addition, there are other populations that are chronically food
insecure. These include approximately 1.5 million school children
in drought-affected areas who require school feeding programs,
roughly 2.5 million poor in urban areas who are unable to meet 50
percent of their daily food requirements, about 2 million
vulnerable poor in rural areas who are affected by HIV/AIDS, and up
to 100,000 persons displaced by the post-election crisis who have
not fully recovered their livelihoods. According to the UN
Children's Fund (UNICEF), more than 200,000 children five years of
age or younger are affected by moderate malnutrition and
approximately 30 percent of children under five years old suffering

5. The GOK has recently taken steps that could facilitate a
successful GHFSI program. In addition, Kenya already possesses a
well-developed policy framework along with structural mechanisms to
facilitate donor coordination. Specifically:

-- Kenya has developed an overarching 2009-2020 Agricultural Sector
Development Strategy (ASDS) to succeed its 2004-2009 Strategy for
Revitalizing Agriculture (SRA). This new strategy incorporates a
CAADP-like framework and can serve as the blueprint for Kenya's
food security strategy. President Kibaki signed this document, and
six out of the ten sector ministries have signed so far. The
official launch is expected in March 2010.

-- The agricultural sector ministries and donors jointly support an
inter-ministerial Agricultural Sector Coordination Unit (ASCU)
which oversees policy reform and ensures that ministerial
activities are compliant with the ASDS principles.

-- The GOK is in the process of forming a new Food Security and
Nutrition Secretariat within the Office of the Prime Minister and
is revitalizing the National Food Security and Nutrition Thematic
Working Group (TWG) under the auspices of ASCU. The mandate of the
TWG - composed of government, private sector and civil society
stakeholders - is to address food security and nutrition challenges
of the country.

-- The GOK is finalizing a five-year medium-term investment plan
aligned to the ASDS and CAADP which they will present to the
Agriculture and Rural Development Donor Coordination Group in
mid-January 2010.




6. Kenya's ability to achieve food security is inherently linked
to progress on its broad-based political reform agenda. Kenya is
at a critical juncture. In the absence of a new Constitution,
judicial, land, police and electoral reform, and a demonstrated
ability to fight corruption, the country will likely experience
significant ethnically-charged violence in 2012 as it did in 2008
(with a major negative effect on the agricultural sector). The
thrust of our foreign policy in Kenya is to avert violence through

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strenuous engagement on the reform agenda. We propose to fold our
GHFSI diplomatic strategy into our overall reform efforts. Kenya
has the robust technical expertise to become food secure, but must
translate this strength more consistently into the political will
to further advance and implement key reforms (including
trade-related reforms) in the agriculture sector. However, we can
put pressure on the political leadership to advance policies
consistent with GHFSI principles and firmly believe that the Kenyan
people, 70 percent of whom are engaged in the agriculture sector,
stand to benefit from U.S. engagement in this area.

7. In the coming months, the country team will be working closely
together to develop a matrix that presents a succinct Mission-wide
approach to the GHFSI. We will be prioritizing interventions into
immediate, medium, and long-term activities and actively using the
matrix as a tool to show where we can effectively engage and which
Embassy sections should have action and supporting roles. We have
tentatively identified the following key areas:

-- Inter-ministerial/donor coordination

-- Land reform/natural resource management/climate change

-- Reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade

-- Stronger integration of Kenya's arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs)
within the country's economic development processes

-- Bridging the gap between relief and development

-- Policy assistance, advice and planning

-- Public diplomacy outreach

-- Promoting public-private partnerships

-- Improving current capacity-building programs




8. While the country team continues to develop the overall GHFSI
matrix, we have tentatively identified the following diplomatic
interventions to support our ongoing long-term development strategy
which we believe will begin to move the initiative forward:

-- The GOK is already creating a Food Security and Nutrition
Secretariat under the Office of the Prime Minister. We're making
preparations to engage early in the year at the senior level to
help shape the way this new secretariat is formed to ensure
long-term impact.

-- Likewise, we can provide technical assistance and support at a
senior level to help guide the GOK as they finalize the structures
supporting its food security strategy to make them more effective.
We will participate, via the DCM and others, in donor coordination
and government meetings to push the Kenyans to implement the
reforms identified in the ASDS.

-- The DCM, along with members of the country team, will hold a
series of high-level meetings with key external players in Kenya's
agricultural development sector -- EC, GTZ, SIDA, World Bank, IFAD,
FAO, DFID, and WFP -- to increase our engagement, cooperation, and

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coherence of engagement.

-- We will demonstrate support for institutions that promote
effective strategies for combating food insecurity. For example,
we will support the GOK's strategy to bring longer-term development
to areas that have been long neglected, by showing high-level
support to the newly formed Ministry of Development of Northern
Kenya and Other Arid Lands and the National Policy for ASAL

--We will take a very public leadership role in demonstrating how
concerned citizens can transform under-utilized urban land to
improve the nutrition of Kenya's poorest-of-the-poor, Nairobi's
slum children. We are transforming a one-acre urban plot of land
into a model small-scale urban farm, with the production going to
supplement and improve the nutrition of Nairobi's slum children who
are currently provided lunch rations by the World Food Program.

-- We will encourage the GOK and other key stakeholders to bridge
the gap between long-term agricultural development and emergency
interventions, helping to alleviate immediate crises while
protecting assets and improving livelihoods of vulnerable

-- We will push the GOK, at the highest level, for harmonization
and rationalization of regional trade policies.

-- We will encourage the GOK to restructure the National Cereals
and Produce Board (NCPB) in an attempt to eliminate one of the most
significant non-tariff barriers in Kenya's agriculture sector.

-- We will collaborate with the GOK and the private sector to
encourage a more open, efficient and unobstructed grain trade to
include providing enhanced capacity building to the sector.

-- We will intervene at the senior level when the GOK indicates a
move toward additional trade-distorting measures (protectionist
tariffs, price fixing, dual-pricing schemes) for short-term
political gain.

-- We will encourage the GOK to abate high ad-valorem tariffs on
imports of grains and other food ingredients and products. The
GOK's removal of the maize import tariff from February 2008 through
June 2010 has facilitated and continues to enable commercial maize
imports to reduce food shortages.

-- We will engage at a high level, through DCM participation and
Ambassador intervention as necessary, when the GOK presents its
medium-term investment plan in January. This is the opportunity to
provide feedback and shape the way the GOK invests in agricultural

-- We will increase emphasis on educating Kenyans about USG credit
facilities that are currently available to assist with food

-- To increase awareness of food security issues, we will hold a
series of press workshops to train a cadre of reporters to

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accurately report on food security issues.

-- We will leverage the launch of new long-term programs and the
announcement of emergency aid by holding press events - pushing for
senior-level GOK participation -- to highlight critical policy
issues and educate the public on food security issues.

-- In the short-term, we would like to fund an agricultural policy
climate study to highlight gaps and potential reforms in Kenya's
agriculture policy. A December 2009 World Bank report concluded
that "inequities in the Kenya agricultural sector point to an
urgent need to review Kenya's agricultural trade policy and
re-examine the role of the National Cereals and Produce Board."
Internal vested interests and corruption have stymied reform. An
independent analysis of agricultural sector policy and structural
blockages to growth that provides prioritized actions to remove
blockages would inform our engagement by providing an objective
plan of action.

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9. To move our strategy forward, we will continue to work with
other bilateral and multi-lateral donors through existing
structures. Kenya enjoys well developed government-donor
coordination mechanisms including the Agriculture and Rural
Development Donors (ARD) Group, the Inter-ministerial Coordination
Committee (ICC), the Technical Committee, and the Thematic Working
Groups (TWGs) including the revitalized National Food Security and
Nutrition TWG. The ARD donors group and the GOK agricultural
ministries signed a Code of Conduct in April 2009 in which
signatories commit to good governance, to "alignment and
harmonization in order to reduce the burden to multiple
development, in pursuance of the Paris Declaration on Aid
Effectiveness...", to aligning their support with the SRA/ASDS to
meet Millennium Development Goal targets, and to improve
efficiencies in implementing the SRA/ASDS. We have well
established ties to all the key players at the working level,
including the World Bank, DFID, SIDA, EC, JICA, GTZ, DANIDA, IFAD
and FAO. We will continue to engage at the working level and
increase our participation through senior-level participation in
targeted meetings with an eye toward enhanced coordination and to
advocate for reform.

10. To achieve the goals of the GHFSI, we will encourage Kenya to
work with its neighbors to support regional integration.
Increasing regional trade and opening up an integrated regional
market for staples in eastern Africa will allow countries to take
advantage of regional diversity and different harvest periods,
moving foods from surplus to deficit areas. Through the Common
Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East
African Community (EAC), African governments have committed
themselves to harmonizing policies, regulations, standards and
procedures and moving from Free Trade Areas to Customs Unions.
COMESA's newly launched Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and
Southern Africa (ACTESA) is expanding regionally coordinated
actions to open up market access for staple foods. To be
effective, agreements made at the regional level must be taken up,
implemented and enforced by national governments. We will work
closely - supporting our programs in USAID/East Africa and
USAID/Kenya -- to identify and promote regional policy initiatives
that have potential to increase food security in Kenya and the

11. We will also coordinate closely with bilateral missions in the

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region. As a regional science and technology platform, the
Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and
Central Africa (ASARECA) achieves economies of scale for
high-priority regional agricultural research. National-level
support to ASARECA's country partners increases the dissemination
of these important technologies to farmers. Regional transport
corridor diagnostics are expected to reveal key bottlenecks and
barriers to trade, which will need to be addressed at the national
level. Regional trade associations build on the strengths of their
national members to upgrade value chains and advocate for a better
regional policy and business environment. Expanded training and
capacity-building programs will be planned jointly, building
cooperation among African educational institutions around a common
agenda. USAID East Africa will provide regional coordination and
knowledge management, linking the various U.S. Government Agencies
working toward reducing hunger, poverty and under-nutrition in the

12. One of the challenges we face is linking up our own bilateral
initiatives with multilateral efforts in a way that assures country
and regional coherence. Clear channels of communication, robust
program review and oversight, and rapid dissemination of new
technologies are essential. While existing institutions will
provide the operational structures, Embassy Nairobi will work to
link these structures with broader multilateral organizations in
order to ensure independent review. Our goal is to provide
external expert advice and a peer review process to avoid
politicization and contamination by parochial interests. An
independent advisory board or panel of experts may be useful,
perhaps working in cooperation with or as part of the Consultative
Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) or the FAO
Committee on Food Security (CFS). We would welcome the
Department's comment on whether such a model exists.




13. With more consistent and sustained policy reform, Kenya can
excel as a GHFSI partner country - and in so doing, also play an
important role in improving food security in the region. Real
success will, however, require the GOK's commitment to the
political reform agenda, including the critical fight against
corruption, that overarches all of Kenya's fundamental problems.
Through significant senior-level U.S. engagement -- in the context
of our push for fundamental political reforms -- and a
comprehensive, country-led, multi-donor approach which encourages
market-based agricultural development and trade and provides
mechanisms for peer review, we believe Kenya may be able to achieve
food security. Given the GOK's new ASDS and its well-developed
institutional framework to facilitate coordination of agricultural
sector reforms, a framework with which we can engage is already in


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