Olivia Karanja

Former Program Associate

Olivia Karanja supports the strategy development and execution of several initiatives to contribute to the Foundation’s mission. Her grant-making and investment portfolio includes agricultural and rural development programs including the Foundation’s emerging initiative to enhance food security, environmental sustainability, and economic prosperity by reducing post-harvest losses in agricultural supply chains, dubbed YieldWise.  

An international development practitioner with ~8 years of work and consulting experience in agricultural & rural development strategies, policy, practice, and management in the Sub-Saharan Africa region; working with governments, foundations, international non-profits, and corporations. In-depth knowledge of Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, leading and developing innovative impactful development programs to build resilience and promote inclusive economic opportunities for underserved communities facing food security, youth unemployment, and economic exclusion. 

Prior to joining the Rockefeller Foundation, Olivia worked as an advisor in TechnoServe where she curated the learning curriculum for up to 35,000 smallholder farmers in an unprecedented private-public investment initiative known as Project Nurture. Previously, she led, developed and executed an initiative on renewable energy sources, working with vulnerable communities and local government authorities.    

Authored Content

  • Aug 27 2018
    Blog Post This is Our Story How do you tell the story of post-harvest food loss in Africa in a way that connects with people? To help answer that question, we chose to work with Africa 24 Media. Well known for their trademark show Africa Journal (co-produced with Reuters) that celebrates Africa’s growth and development, A24 took the YieldWise story to television. […] Juliett Otieno, Olivia Karanja
  • May 01 2018
    Blog Post What Mangoes in Kenya Can Teach Us About Food Loss Today, 40 percent of all food produced is never eaten, which is the equivalent of throwing nearly $1 trillion right in the trash—lost labor, water, energy, profits to small farmers, and so much more. The goal of our YieldWise Initiative is to make a sizeable dent in food loss in places where it matters most—in […] Betty Kibaara, Olivia Karanja
  • Sep 08 2017
    Blog Post Reducing food loss in the mango value chain in Kenya: A good investment opportunity There is consistent high demand for mangos in Kenya, with numerous buyers and relatively stable prices. Like many fruits and vegetables, mangoes are considered an auxiliary crop (and not a staple), and despite buyer interest and the additional income it could bring, farmers battling pests have struggled to have ample quality supply. Patrick Sila, the […] Isaiah Kirema, Olivia Karanja, David Flor Gavilanes
  • Feb 27 2017
    Blog Post Agriculture is Cool! Food loss occurs when crops rot before they reach markets. This is usually due to inefficiencies in the post-harvest management system, in the form of poor harvesting and handling methods, poor transport systems, limited market access, lack of awareness and use of loss-reducing technologies, among others. These inefficiencies present themselves in overalls – because they […] Olivia Karanja
  • Mar 16 2016
    Blog Post Partnerships Help Reduce Food Loss, Increase Profits for Kenyan Mango Farmers The mango value chain in Kenya is a clear demonstration of harnessing the power of collaborative partnerships for business opportunity and development impact. In 2015, The Rockefeller Foundation supported TechnoServe (TNS) to kick-start a demonstration of loss reduction in the mango value chain, building on their expertise developed under Project Nurture. More recently and with […] Olivia Karanja