DULUTH, GEORGIA, U.S. — The AGCO Agriculture Foundation (AAF) announced a new partnership with the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) to pilot an initiative that will assist in meeting agricultural and nutritional demands at one of Africa’s largest refugee camps.

The partnership will address several factors affecting local food production and supply of food aid, including climate-related impacts, poor performance of crops and livestock and the lack of access to modern agricultural systems.

“We understand the urgent need for sustainable alternative sources of food production to combat the local food shortage,” said Metti Richenhagen, managing director, AGCO Agriculture Foundation. “Our foundation is thrilled to be a strategic funding partner to foster Dadaab’s agricultural development, which aligns perfectly with our objective of making a smart impact on marginalized farming communities.”

The AGCO Agriculture Foundation’s funding is geared toward the future establishment of an 85-acre mechanized farm for pivot-irrigation and crop production. The pivot farm project will produce and preserve pasture for livestock and develop alfalfa for high-quality protein animal feed. The initiative introduces sustainable agricultural operations around the camps, including modern farming techniques, mechanization and irrigation solutions, and soil cover for reduced water loss.

The Dadaab refugee complex consists of three open camps while two camps were permanently closed following repatriation of refugees and camp consolidation by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

UNHCR with the Kenya Red Cross Society, as the leading humanitarian agency across the continent, still operates health intervention and environmental rehabilitation in the refugee complex.

“Securing livelihoods of the most vulnerable populations remains a key focus of the Kenya Red Cross Society, and food security has been a major challenge in the Dadaab Refugee camp and its environs,” said Asha Mohammed, the Kenya Red Cross Society Secretary General. “We therefore appreciate the AGCO Agriculture Foundation for this timely intervention that seeks to increase pasture production, food production, nutrition and reduce food security crisis for the refugees and host community.”

The new agriculture initiative will be implemented in conjunction with the UNHCR and also the Kenya County Government of Garissa.

“Our partnership with the KRCS and aim to jointly foster local development for food security in Dadaab also caught the attention of Mechan Groep in the Netherlands,” Richenhagen said. “As a leading distributor of agricultural machines and equipment, the organization supports this AAF initiative closely related to their business of farming.”

The AAF, initiated by AGCO Corp. in 2018, is a private foundation with the vision to prevent and relieve hunger.