AIRTEA Project

Strengthening agricultural knowledge and the innovation ecosystem for inclusive rural transformation and livelihoods in Eastern Africa (AIRTEA) Project

The AIRTEA project was conceived to contribute to the attainment of sustainable farming livelihoods and rural transformation by fostering an inclusive innovation environment in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. The project is designed to last four (4) years (2021-2025).

Countries of intervention

The Project is implemented in three countries (Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda) under the coordination of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), and the East African Farmers Federation (EAFF).


AIRTEA Project is supported by the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) through the ACP Innovation Fund which is funded by the European Union (EU) to the tune of  of Eur 4,799.035


Africa’s agriculture is largely sustained by smallholder farmers, half of whom are women. However, poor access to markets and information on supply and demand prevents them from achieving reasonable profit margins. The expectation of low profits discourages young people from taking up agricultural activities. While, alternative approaches, such as multi-stakeholder platforms (IPs) are promising in delivery of research impact, a majority of the agrarian African population remains disconnected from them.

The project is facilitating and brokering multi-stakeholder partnerships among the youth, women, researchers, universities and policy makers to foster co-creation and co-ownership of innovation, generate appropriate technologies, and increase transfer and uptake of technologies. The project is also strengthening the capacity of IPs to take advantage of technological solutions for dissemination and use of innovations, and co-design of training materials and technology delivery methods. Besides, the project is facilitating dialogue among smallholder farmers, the research community, agricultural extension services and policy-makers.

Expected outputs

  1. Multi-stakeholder IPs established and supported along commodity value chains.
  2. Strengthened entrepreneurial capacity of youth and women involved in multi-stakeholder IPs.
  3. Practical solutions and related knowledge products developed and availed along commodity value chains.
  4. Strengthened capacity of commodity value chain actors to scale up practical solutions.
  5. Collaborative partnerships established and strengthened between women, youth and other actors along value chains
  6. New services offered by business service providers along commodity value chains.

Third party grantees

  • Abi Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Abi), Uganda: Harnessing multi-stakeholder innovation platforms for knowledge transfer and aquaculture value chain development in Uganda.
  • Uganda Christian University (UCU) Uganda: Enhancing inclusive market access for African Indigenous Vegetable seed and value-added products by Smallholder farmers in Uganda.
  • Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Kenya: Upgrading of silver cyprinid (Rastrineobola argentea) value chain through multi-stakeholder partnerships and novel climate-smart postharvest processing technologies and practices for improved rural livelihoods.
  • University of Nairobi (UoN): Strengthening cassava innovation ecosystem and knowledge transfer for inclusive rural livelihoods development in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda         
  • Africa Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS): Digital Connectors for farming communities in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda.
  • Koppert Biological Systems (KBS): Unlocking productivity within small holder farming systems through use of geospatial technology (GIS), artificial intelligence and biological technologies in the face of climate change in Kenya
  • Seed Potato Fund Joint Ventures Ltd (SPF), Rwanda:  Promoting technologies and innovations for improving access to quality potato seeds by small holder farmer through strengthening potato seed systems and multi-stakeholder collaboration in Rwanda           
  • Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB): Technology Transfer through Innovation Systems; enhancing Smallholder farmers’ capacity for profitable and sustainable potato production in Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda
  • Cooperatives Alliance of Kenya: Leveraging the Benefits of Multi Stakeholders Partnerships to Support Rural Women and Youth in Dairy Sector in Kenya
  • AGRENES (Agriculture, Environment, and Ecosystems) Limited, Uganda: Retaining next generation farmers in agribusiness through enhanced knowledge sharing platforms along with the dairy and selected grain value chains in Uganda.
  • Youth Engagement in Agriculture Network (YEAN), Rwanda: Youth Leading Changes in Resilient Private Extension and Advisory Services for Job and Wealth Creation in Rwanda