NAIROBI, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) funded projects in Kenya have achieved "remarkable" gender equality results, a report released on Wednesday said.
The report said that women's access to resources, assets and services has improved and they have gained more influence in decision-making both at home and within their communities.
"The success has been attained following IFAD's innovation in bringing solutions around credit delivery, agro-processing and environmental management," the report noted.
The agency said that the interventions have led to higher incomes and improved food security for beneficiaries of all projects besides boosting agricultural productivity.
Donal Brown, associate vice-president for program management department at IFAD revealed that the IFAD and Kenya government have worked for nearly 40 years with small farming families to raise their production and incomes.
"The report that was prepared by the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) is proof of how these families have more access to diverse food, with higher levels of animal and vegetable proteins," Brown said.
He said that the IFAD will continue partnering with Kenya in its efforts to improve food security and nutrition for rural families, while building on lessons learned to improve the impact of the efforts.
The official revealed that the organization has invested in 18 projects in Kenya amounting to 71.13 billion Kenyan shillings (around 711 million U.S. dollars) since 1979, of which 376 million dollars were financed by IFAD.
The report said horticulture is extremely important to Kenya's economy since it accounts for about 33 percent of the country's agricultural GDP and seven percent of total GDP.
"The program had a significant impact on farmers' incomes and food security, increasing the quality and quantity of horticultural production in the country through the use of a value chain approach," it noted.
The report said that farmers who benefited from the program had higher income gains as a result of greater gross margins driven mainly by higher yields in some of the horticultural commodities that the program promoted such as bananas and Irish potatoes.
"We need to strengthen policy engagement and create more space and opportunities for engaging the private sector," said Oscar Garcia, IOE's director, adding that the private sector can contribute significant financing to drive the rural economy.