WOMEN ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM
Strengthening the Business Orientation of Small Holder Farmers in Western Region
August 2019 - July 2021
Strengthening the Business orientation of selected smallholder farmers in Western Kenya project (SBOSH) is funded by GIZ- Green Innovation Centers Project. Coverage areas include Siaya, Bungoma, and Kakamega Counties.
The aim of this project is to train 4,000 Dairy farmers selected from cooperatives on financial literacy; train 6,000 sweet potatoes farmers on Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) selected from sweet potatoes producer groups to enable them to start and run VSLAs.
Further, the project is to conduct Agri-preneurship training to 250 vine multipliers, 1,375 sweet potatoes small holder famers and 125 managers in up and down stream enterprises along the Diary and Sweet potatoes value chain.
The project is also to identify 200 commercial smallholders’ farmers for close mentorship and coaching in Agri-preneurship.
Additionally, the scope includes adapting and customizing training materials in line with GIZ guidelines as well as provide a sustainable model of VSLA that continues after the project ends and facilitating the development of a business development coaching and mentorship approach that continues to support farmers and businesses along dairy and sweet potato value chain beyond the project period.
The project works with community based trainers who were recruited from the project catchment areas. The CBTs are trained and mentored on the VSLA, Financial Literacy and Agripreneurship for purposes of training the participating farmers.
Focus of the Project
Financial Literacy provided to dairy cooperative members.
Mentorship and coaching for Community Based Trainers and Entrepreneurs.
Village savings & loans provided to Sweet potato farmers and vine multipliers,
Village Saving Loan (VSLA) sustainability model
Agri-preneurship development targeting farmers and businesses along sweet potato and dairy value chains,
Business Development Services Coaching and mentorship model (BDS)
COVID 19 that affected projects across the globe did not spare the project either. This included postponed community trainings and later adjusted number of trainees per session with COVID 19 protocols in place, adaptations like training channels and other innovation pilots among others. The project was open to learning from likeminded practitioners across the globe and necessary adjustments including digital options were explored while protecting the lives of the project staff and project participants.
Some of the adaptations included dairy farmers’ training through interactive sms chatbot which involved transforming training content in to sms characters transmittable through mobile phones-both feature and android phones. This later became a supplementary training as the Government went easy on COVID 19 restrictions and physical trainings resuming with strict COVID 19 protocols adherence.
Other adjustments included providing virtual support to VSLAs through community based trainers to enable them adapt to COVID 19 situation while ensuring safety of all members.