SEMAKENYA II kicks off: the Italian system of development cooperation to promote agroecology and biofuels in Makueni County

Nairobi, 8th december 2022 – This morning the 'SEMAKENYA II' program financed by the Italian Cooperation was officially launched at the Residence of the Italian Ambassador in Nairobi, H.E. Roberto Natali. The initiative will support the introduction of conservation agriculture practices and 'Climate Smart' technologies in Makueni County, located in one of the arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya. The initiative is worth 2 million Euros and will be implemented through the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (CIHEAM Bari) in partnership with the Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization of Kenya (KALRO).

The event counted on the participation of the Governor of Makueni County, H.E. Mutula Kilonzo Jr, the Deputy Director of CIHEAM Bari, Biagio Di Terlizzi and the Managing Director of ENI Kenya, Enrico Tavolini. Among the participants, the Head of the Nairobi Regional Office of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), Giovanni Grandi, and various representatives of the Italian private sector, local institutions and civil society.

'SEMAKENYA II' will be 'a resilient path towards agroecology in Makueni County’ through the promotion of environment-friendly agricultural practices and the valorisation of drought-tolerant local crops, such as legumes and tropical fruits, which also have a strong potential in terms of commercialization on the international markets. Planned activities include the introduction of a digital platform that will directly connect farmers and buyers, with the aim of ensuring a fairer business for farmers and a quality product for consumers.

'SEMAKENYA II' represents the first implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Eni Kenya and the Nairobi office of AICS in 2021, regarding the involvement of the "Italian System" of development cooperation and the private sector in the implementation of cooperation initiatives. SEMAKENYA II will contribute to the decarbonisation process implemented by ENI in the country through an initiative supporting the introduction of sustainable oil crops, such as castor, and the opening of processing plants for the extraction of industrial oil. The oil will be subsequently exported to Italy for the production of biofuels, opening up new income opportunities for local farmers.


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H.E. Roberto Natali, the Italian Ambassador in Nairobi, has opened the launch ceremony of the SEMAKENYA II project

Participants at the ceremony included representatives from AICS, from the Embassy of Italy to Kenya, from ENI Kenya, CIHEAM Bari, Makueni County e the Ministry of Agriculture of Kenya

Giovanni Grandi, Head of Aics office in Nairobi, together with H.E. Mutula Kilonzo Jr, Governor of Makueni County, where the SEMAKENYA II project will be implemented



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