Joel Rutoh Chairman of Kericho Dairy Development Organization (KDDO) reiterates participants’ expectations for the workshop. Photo credit: Africa Lead / Richaela Primus
Kericho County is one of the epicenters of tea farming and processing, dairy production, and food crop production in Kenya. Though the varieties of agricultural value chains are extensive, many limitations exist. The Kericho Dairy Development Organization (KDDO), a recipient of the Africa Lead/CAADP Non-State Actors (CNC) Small Grants Program (SGP), is planning to assess and address these limitations.
To this end, KDDO facilitated a Stakeholders Workshop on 8 August 2018 at ACK Conference Centre in Kericho County. The workshop is a component of KDDO’s activities under the Africa Lead/CNC SGP, which aim to strengthen non-state actors’ engagement in county-level food and nutrition security for economic prosperity in Kericho. To assess the challenges in the dairy, horticulture, and local poultry value chains, KDDO brought together more than 30 stakeholders from these key value chains to identify and understand any current gaps, opportunities, strengths and areas for improvement. Participants in the workshop included farmers, farmer groups, agricultural research and education organizations, financial institutions, county government, and Africa Lead representatives.
Participants’ expectations for the workshop included: learning what other stakeholders are doing within county-level agriculture, especially dairy farming, KDDO’s activities, as well as opportunities for funding and finance mechanisms to support their farms and organizations. After expressing their expectations, seven stakeholders presented on activities and services that their organizations and institutions were providing to the county agriculture sector. A representative of the National Bank, described various services available to farmers, such as financial literacy programs services and loans for farmers in the dairy sector.
By the end of the meeting, participants completed a SWOT analysis to discuss strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to agricultural value chains in Kericho. Overall, participants highlighted the need for more opportunities for funding, diversifying the availability of farmer value chains, improving value addition, and increasing the use and knowledge of more advanced agricultural technologies.Joel Rutoh, Chairman of KDDO, described the organization’s plans to create a functional local poultry value chain across the county, and train poultry farmers on market trends and linkages. “Poultry and dairy work together as builders of agricultural activities in Kericho,” said Joel Rutoh, Chairman of KDDO.
Additionally, Africa Lead visited the Chepsir Farmers’ Cooperative Society Ltd, a dairy processing site. Chepsir regards KDDO as a strong link between them and the local NSA community and sees an opportunity for KDDO to help with training of farmers on new methods of milk processing and products.
KDDO will use feedback from the workshop to inform the development tools and training of enumerators who will survey food security and nutrition issues throughout Kericho County.