In a bid to boost the horticulture sector and empower farmers in Kenya, KCIC’s AgriBiz program in partnership with the Kenya School of Agriculture conducted a comprehensive training program with a focus on Horticulture value chains. The rigorous 10-day training took place in Nyeri (at the Kenya School of Agriculture) from 5th to 16th of June, 2023, attracting over 150 entrepreneurs from across the country, representing all the eight AgriBiz hubs.
One of the key objectives of the training was to provide participants with invaluable access to information and capacity-building opportunities. This was achieved through classroom sessions and practical lessons that involved visiting farms, with expertise shared by the Kenya School of Agriculture. The training curriculum encompassed crucial aspects of soil management, water management, plant propagation and nursery management, gender in agribusiness, integrated pest and disease control, value addition technology, agricultural marketing, agribusiness proposal development, entrepreneurship in agriculture, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and crop management practices. By addressing these key areas, the program equipped farmers with the necessary tools to optimize crop yields, manage resources effectively, and embrace sustainable agricultural practices.
Participants gained a deeper understanding of sustainable agricultural practices, that will allow them to optimize their crop yields and manage their resources effectively. With improved soil management techniques, farmers are expected to enhance productivity. In attendance were 65 women who have further gained insights into empowering them in the sector and ensuring equal opportunities for them. This is in line with Agribiz’s objective to empower women and the youth in agricultural value chains. The shift in mindset will not only contribute to a more diverse and equitable agricultural landscape but also open doors to new perspectives and ideas, fueling innovation and progress.
The training’s impact extends beyond the field, as participants developed a comprehensive understanding of agricultural marketing and agribusiness proposal development. Armed with this knowledge, the enterprises will be better equipped to connect with potential buyers, negotiate favorable prices, and develop business plans that attract investors. This will unlock new avenues for market access and profitability, propelling farmers towards sustainable economic growth.
Participants at the training lauded the impact of the training to the subsequent running of their entreprises. Nashon Odiwuor, an entrepreneur under the Kisii Hub who works with 80% women in line with vegetable farming and distribution acknowledged the important lessons learnt. “KCIC has done an amazing job in coordinating this training. We appreciate the opportunity to learn, network and go home challenged. I have gained important lessons in value addition which I am going to practice” he said.,
The program fostered an entrepreneurial spirit among participants, encouraging them to think creatively and embrace innovation in their agricultural practices. The clients got a chance to talk about their products in a bid to attract clientele and network among each other.
The training also sought to equip participants with strategies for climate change adaptation and mitigation. They were urged to embrace climate-smart agriculture practices, such as water conservation methods and sustainable land management. These measures not only enhance their resilience to climate-related risks but also contribute to environmental conservation and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.