The Africa Agribusiness Academy (AAA) in partnership with the Africa Lead /Non-State Actors Coalition (CNC)/Small Grants Program held a validation workshop for entrepreneurs and SMEs in agriculture aimed at supporting successful change, that can be used to accelerate the agenda for sustainable agricultural growth and development in the country. The validation workshop commenced the momentum of other key workshops, meetings and engagements organized by AAA in Nairobi and Nakuru counties with several agro-based SMEs and other relevant stakeholders.
Outcomes of the previous workshops highlighted identification of key policy and investment gaps that are required to be addressed by the national and the county governments. Additionally, the workshops and also enabled the SMEs to participate in policy dialogue processes as well as understand and interpret the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) in view of their operations and investment to support their policy dialogue agenda.
“The validation workshop today has been an eye opener for myself, I think also for the whole of AAA fraternity, the resolutions, the reports being presented and the outcomes of the workshops that have taken place have given us ideas on how best we can incorporate them in AAA,” said Mr. Farid Karama, Executive Director for AAA. “I think having vast services that you can offer to members is one key element and with the validation workshop it has really highlighted the SME’s needs for example collective sourcing, collective marketing and collective branding. These are very key elements that have come up and we believe with the project outcomes it is going to take us places,” he concluded.
Key focus areas discussion during the workshop included the new Agriculture Sector Growth and Transformation Strategy (ASGTS) and the National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP). Participants regarded the ASGTS and the NAIP as integral to the growth of SME’s in agriculture and vowed to help all their members understand their role in the implementation of both for the benefit of all agriculture sector players in Kenya.