INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT MODEL FOR RURAL SMALL SCALE FARMERS FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND AGRIBUSINESS

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Go to Project: INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT MODEL FOR RURAL SMALLHOLDER FARMERS IN DRY LANDS OF KENYA.

CREATE RURAL ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY THROUGH SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND AGRIBUSINESS BY BUILDING AND DEVELOPING SUSTAINABILITY FACTORS AS VIABLE GROUPS FOR SMALL SCALE FARMERS THROUGH WHICH TO LINK TO INPUT AND OUTPUT MARKET, ACCESS INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY, AND BUILD FINANCIAL CAPACITY THROUGH THE GRAMEEN MICROFINANCE MODEL. FARMERS ARE ORGANISED INTO VIABLE GROUPS OF 20 MEMBERS LINKED TO OTHER GROUPS THROUGH A NETWORK OF RURAL FARMERS RESOURCE CENTRES. THE CENTRES SERVE AS A PLACE FOR FARMERS TO ACCESS AFFORDABLE AND QUALITY FARM INPUTS, ACT AS COLLECTION CENTRES TO BULK THEIR PRODUCE, ADD VALUE AND ACCESS THE GREATER MARKET, A FIELD SCHOOL FOR ACCESSING INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY AND PROVIDES THE PLACE FOR FARMERS TO ENGAGE IN VILLAGE BANKING BY POOLING THEIR SAVINGS.

About You

Organization: EMEDEN KENYA Visit websitemore ↓↑ hide↑ hide

About You

First Name

Everlyne

Last Name

Cherobon

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About Your Organization

Organization Name

EMEDEN KENYA

Organization Website

Organization Country

Kenya

Country where this project is creating social impact

Kenya

Is your organization a

Non‐profit/NGO/citizen sector organization

How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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Innovation

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Entry Form title

INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT MODEL FOR RURAL SMALL SCALE FARMERS FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND AGRIBUSINESS

What change do you want to bring to the world?

CREATE RURAL ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY THROUGH SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND AGRIBUSINESS BY BUILDING AND DEVELOPING SUSTAINABILITY FACTORS AS VIABLE GROUPS FOR SMALL SCALE FARMERS THROUGH WHICH TO LINK TO INPUT AND OUTPUT MARKET, ACCESS INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY, AND BUILD FINANCIAL CAPACITY THROUGH THE GRAMEEN MICROFINANCE MODEL. FARMERS ARE ORGANISED INTO VIABLE GROUPS OF 20 MEMBERS LINKED TO OTHER GROUPS THROUGH A NETWORK OF RURAL FARMERS RESOURCE CENTRES. THE CENTRES SERVE AS A PLACE FOR FARMERS TO ACCESS AFFORDABLE AND QUALITY FARM INPUTS, ACT AS COLLECTION CENTRES TO BULK THEIR PRODUCE, ADD VALUE AND ACCESS THE GREATER MARKET, A FIELD SCHOOL FOR ACCESSING INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY AND PROVIDES THE PLACE FOR FARMERS TO ENGAGE IN VILLAGE BANKING BY POOLING THEIR SAVINGS.

What are the primary activities of your project?

1. TRAINING AND PROVISION OF AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICES TO SMALL SCALE FARMERS ON THE FOLLOWING:
a. FORMATION OF VIABLE FARMERS GROUPS. THE TRAINING FOCUSES ON GOVERNANCE, FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT AND GROUP DYNAMICS
b. SUSTAINANABLE AGRICUTURAL PRACTICES SUCH AS LAND PREPARATION, SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION, AGRONOMICAL BEST PRACTICES ON CROP AND ANIMAL PRODUCTION.
2. ESTABLISHING A NETWORK OF FARMERS RESOUCE CENTRES THAT ACT AS
a. INPUT SUPPLY CHAIN. FARMERS POOL THEIR ORDERS AND THE CENTRE SOURCES THE INPUT FROM SUPPLIERS DIRECTLY. THIS REDUCES COSTS TO THE FARMERS WHILE ENSURING ACCESS TO QUALITY FARM INPUTS.
b. COLLECTING AND BULKING FARMERS PRODUCE, ADDING VALUE AND SELLING THE VALUE ADDED PRODUCT TO THE WIDER MARKET ON BEHALF OF THE FARMERS. THE CENTRE SUBTRACTS VALUE ADDITION, AND STORAGE COSTS AND GIVE BACK TO THE FARMER REVENUE AS SALES AND BONUS
c. VILLAGE BANK AND BANK AGENCY FOR FARMERS TO POOL THEIR SAVINGS AND ACCESS OTHER FINANCIAL SERVICES SUCH AS LOANS
d. FARMERS FIELD SCHOOL ON AGRICUTRAL SYSTEMS INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY
3. THE PROJECT WHILE COLLECTING AND BULKING FARMERS PRODUCE FOR VALUE ADDITION AND ONWARD SALE IN THE MARKET INCUBATES AN AGRIBUSINESS COMPANY WHICH ON MATURITY IS SOLD TO PRIVATE INVESTORS AND FARMERS GROUPS. THE FARMER GROUPS HAVING BUILD THEIR SAVINGS DURING THE INCUBATIOON PERIOD ARE ABLE TO INVEST IN THE COMPANY IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OTHER INVESTORS
4. ENVIROMENTAL CONSERVATION INITIATIVES AND CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION SOLUTIONS SUCH AS TREE PLANTING, REHABILITATION OF DAMAGED SOILS AND HARVESTING AND STORAGE OF RAIN WATER

What is innovative about your initiative? How is it a new contribution to the field?

ABOUT 80% OF KENYA’S POPULATION LIVE IN RURAL AREAS PRACTISING SMALLHOLDER SUBSISTENCE AGRICULTURE FOR LIVELIHOODS. MAJORITY OF THE 50% POOR KENYANS LIVE IN RURAL AREAS. THE POOREST LIVE IN THE ARID AND SEMI ARID LANDS.
THE GOVERNMENT OF KENYA IN ITS POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGY PAPER HAS OUTLINED POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGIES BUT ADMITS THAT IT FAILED TO PRODUCE DESIRED RESULTS DUE TO WEAKNESSES IN IMPLEMENTATION. OTHER NON GOVERNMENTAL INITIATIVES HAVE ALSO MADE IMPROVEMENTS BUT MOSTLY IN ONE SECTOR SUCH EITHER IN INPUT ACCESS OR MARKET ACCESS ONLY. FOR EXAMPLE KENYA AGRICUTURAL COMMODITY EXCHANGE (KACE) HAS MADE HUGE CONTRIBUTION TO LINKING RURAL FARMERS TO MARKET THROUGH USE OF ICT WHILE KICKSTART HAS CREATED ACCESS TO FARMING TECHNOLOGIES SUCH AS IRRIGATION SYSTEMS. HOWEVER, AN INTERATED SYSTEM HAS LARGERLY BEEN IGNORED. INITIATIVES GENERALLY MAKE CONTRIBUTION TO ONE ASPECT OF RURAL AGRICULTURE WITHOUT BUILDING HARMONY WITH OTHER INITIATIVES. THE GOVERNMENT OF KENYA HAS TRIED TO BUILT THIS HARMONY BUT WITH LIMITED SUCCESS.
THIS PROJECT LOCATED IN THE SEMI ARID ZONES, HAS INTRODUCED AN INTEGRATED SYSTEM WITH INBUILT SUCCESS FACTORS WITH THE FARMER. LINKING THE PROJECT TO INCUBATING A PRIVATE PROFIT MAKING COMPANY WILL ENSURE THAT THE PROJECTS ACTIVITIES BECOME SUSTAINABLE IN THE LONG TERM. WHEN THE RURAL FARMER GROUPS BECOME SHAREHOLDERS IN THE COMPANY IN PARTNERSHIPS WITH OTHER PRIVATE INVESTORS SYNERGY IS BUILD FOR RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. THE RURAL FARMER IS ABLE TO INVEST IN THE COMPANY THROUGH HIS SAVINGS DONE IN GROUPS.

What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Tell us about the community that you engage? eg. economic conditions, political structures, norms and values, demographic trends, history, and experience with engagement efforts.

The project is located in the semi arid part of the Keiyo Marakwet County in the northern rift valley of Kenya. About 80% of Kenya is classified as Dry lands hosting 25% of the population. 65% of the population in dry lands live below the poverty line compared to national average of 26%
Keiyo district is located in the dry lands of Kenya and is divided into three topographical regions; the Highlands, the Escarpment and the Valley. The Escarpment and the Valley is semi arid. It is called Kerio Valley. About 50% of the population in the district live in absolute poverty hence rely heavily on government relief food distribution. Water access is a serious impediment to agricultural development in this area. Kerio Valley is dry with erratic rainfall, leading to poor crops production and low incomes. Communities in the valley suffer frequent losses of their livestock through droughts and cattle rustling. Poverty is therefore rampant and the inhabitants rely on food relief. Poverty is driving the people to cut down trees (Acacia spp) to burn charcoal for sale for food. The most vulnerable groups include squatters, the aged poor, orphans, handicapped, unskilled casual labourers, female household heads, and small agricultural farmers. There is one major Perennial River running through the valley (Kerio River) which could be harnessed to enable farmers get water for irrigation.

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

The story of EMEDEN Kenya begins with the story of the founder Everlyne Events of her childhood greatly influenced the choices she made along the way.
Everlyne was raised in rural Kenya, in the midst of poverty living in one single room round thatched and mud house with her widowed mother supported by their 2 acre piece of land. Her mother diligently worked on the two acre farm, keeping two grade cows and becoming a member of the local dairy cooperative. Consequently she was able to feed and educate her children.
Over the course of her formal employment, Everlyne was in constant contact with rural farmers. She witnessed the changes resulting from Structural Adjustment and Liberalization Programs. Rural farmers did not have the capacity to respond to these changes. The previously vibrant cooperative movement failed coupled with problems associated with governance and financial management. Rural poverty increased. Over the years land subdivision and increasing population has further complicated rural poverty. All these challenged Everlyne to action. She searched for answers to increasing rural poverty leading her to organize a team of professionals to support her farmers outreach programs such as advocacy platforms on agriculture, educational and training programs targeting formation of viable farmer groups and associations.
These initiatives eventually led to the formation of EMEDEN Kenya in January 2010 as a non-profit making organization targeting poor rural farmers and other vulnerable groups with the sole purpose of improving their livelihoods.

Social Impact

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Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured

Since inception in 2010, EMEDEN Kenya has established a network of 4 Sustainable Farmers Resource centers in semi arid part of Keiyo district performing the following activities:
a. Supply affordable quality farm inputs such as seeds, agrochemicals, beekeeping equipment, irrigation technology and green houses. By bulking farmers input needs the project reduces cost of accessing inputs and ensures access to quality inputs. Over 1000 farm household has benefited from these service with associated savings in costs of accessing those inputs. These households also had direct service from input suppliers minimizing risk of accessing poor quality or fake farm inputs.
b. Access to information and technology on dry land agriculture that include water harvesting and irrigation technology, soil and water conservation measures and latest research from Kenya agricultural Research Institute.
c. Introduced 4 dry land crops and livestock namely green grams, cowpeas, groundnuts and sunflower. EMEDEN provides seeds and buy back the produce from farmers under contract farming arrangements, engage in value addition and sell final product in the market on behalf of farmers who get a bonus on the additional profits made, Beekeeping has also been successfully introduced with an environmental conservation component that involve planting of bee loving trees. About 50 tonnes of these produce has been sold in the market in the last one year.
d. More than 100 farmer groups are members of EMEDEN Kenya have benefited. Each group has 20 members. Therefore EMEDEN Kenya is helping to improve livelihoods of more than 2000 farmers. Each farmer groups engages in saving at least US$1 per month. Thus an average of 2000 dollars per month is being saved. This savings have provided the stimulus for further agriculture by the farmers
e. The project has created direct and indirect employment to both skilled and non skilled members of the community previously unemployed. Direct employment is to a set of 16 people in the 4 resource centers. Indirect employment include commission earners for collecting and transporting farm produce from the villages to the centers including transporters to the market. Others include transporters of farm inputs to the centers from supplier depots.

How many people have been impacted by your project?

1,001- 10,000

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

More than 10,000

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

In the next three years the project will have matured so that EMEDEN Kenya can offload it to private investors in partnership with farmers. During this time, the farmer groups will have developed financial muscle to invest in the business, while EMEDEN Kenya as a not for profit organization will continue to identify other rural agribusiness opportunities to create into viable businesses interesting enough to private investors while continuing to develop capacity of small scale farmers. EMEDEN Kenya to become self sustainable in the long run when it offloads profit making enterprises to private investors partnering with local farmers.

Sustainability

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What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

The initial capital provided by project promoters has been used to build and incubate a social enterprise that still provide essential service to the farmer in terms of building capacity while linking to markets. The model is self sustainable with the only requirement being capital to scale up and invest in required technology. The initial capital has provided the stimulus for growth while building financial capacity of farmers ensures that farmers will be able to carry out the projects activities with minimum support. In view of this the key challenge has been the ability of rural farmers to embrace the model has planned. They have been slow in understanding and picking it up. After one year of aggressive outreach, the farmers are slowly embracing. Agriculture too is dependent on several factors that are not easy to control such as climatic changes. The high cost of water management technology makes the project to still rely heavily on rain fed agriculture. This too may hinder anticipated progress. However to overcome this, the project will steadily invest in water management technologies such as harvesting and strong rain water, irrigation systems and green houses. Another anticipated problem relates to instability in market prices especially for fresh produce. This too will involve heavy investment in technology such as value addition and preservation to manage the problem.

Tell us about your partnerships

The Government of Kenya line Ministries of Agriculture, Livestock, Gender, Cooperative Development and Environment have been the key partners in designing and implementing the project. Its key role has been assisting in mobilisation. This was important because rural communities have more faith and trust in government than in personal initiatives. Other key partners include other development organisation such as SNV of the Netherlands, World Vision among others. Their role has mainly involved building harmony in our activities for better results and partnering in project activities.

Current annual budget of project, in US dollars

$10,001‐50,000

Explain your selections

The project being young relied heavily on the individual contribution of the project promoters. Most grant makers look out for established organisation as opposed to young ones. the project after building the sustainable social enterprise currently under incubation has been able to use the input of customers(farmers) o further scale up the project

How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?

To ensure that the project succeeds, there is need for more investment in two major and important areas namely; provision of training and extension services and water management technologies. The farmers need more training on crop and animal production best practices including knowledge on inputs, their quality and uses on the farm. Water is a scarce resource in this semi arid zones, hence the need to invest in such technologies as rain water harvesting technology, irrigation system and green houses. Environmental conservation measures too need to be strengthened. These will allow the project to achieve its objectives much faster and on a desired scale to create measurable impact.
Apart from the above technical aspect, the project will also be strengthened by building organisational capacity in terms of Human resource, Governance, Management and Financial capacity. The organisation should be able to attract the right staff and develop structures that ensure sustainability and integrity. All these are required because EMEDEN Kenya is young and have limited current capacity due to its age and current resources.

Challenges

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Which barriers to employment does your innovation address?
Please select up to three in order of relevancy to your project.

PRIMARY

Restricted access to new markets

SECONDARY

Lack of access to information and networks

TERTIARY

Lack of skills/training

Please describe how your innovation specifically tackles the barriers listed above.

First by developing the rural farmers resource centers, the project enables farmers to bulk their produce, build economies of scale and access the market leveraging them in the market place to negotiate for a fair price for their produce and farm inputs.
Secondly, poor infrastructure has shut out rural communities from relevant information and networks. The project by organizing farmers into viable groups gives them a platform for making contacts with all relevant networks and stakeholders and lobby with any institution like government for better service.
Finally, low education level makes it harder for rural farmers to acquire formal skills. Through its farmer’s field schools, the project provides the farmers the opportunity to undertake basic training in agricultural development.

Are you trying to scale your organization or initiative?
If yes, please check up to three potential pathways in order of relevancy to you.

PRIMARY

Grown geographic reach: Within host country

SECONDARY

Grown geographic reach: Within host country

TERTIARY

Grown geographic reach: Within host country

Please describe which of your growth activities are current or planned for the immediate future.

It is planned to integrate farmers outreach programs to register and engage with more farmer groups in production of the three identified crops (sunflower, green grams, cowpeas and groundnuts); and the two livestock commodities namely beekeeping and poultry farming. In the next year, it is expected for production to double from current levels (average of 15 tonnes each for the crops, 10 tonnes for honey and bee products and 7000 poultry)
Secondly it is expected that in the coming year 2012 more investment on rain water harvesting technologies will be made to allow for irrigation and all year round production of crops.

Do you collaborate with any of the following: (Check all that apply)

Government, Academia/universities.

If yes, how have these collaborations helped your innovation to succeed?

The project collaborates with the Government mainly in farmers outreach programs. Working with government has given the project credibility and has helped to build fait and trust on the project by the farmers. This trust is the foundation for the success of the project
The University has been helpful in helping to establish the value addition initiatives by offering to test quality of value added products

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148 weeks ago Everlyne Cherobon updated this Competition Entry.
148 weeks ago Everlyne Cherobon said: Thank you Alex for your kind comments. The project is creating direct employment through its provision of extension services and ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >
150 weeks ago Alex Beyard said: Hi Everlyne, What a great entry! I really like your model and I've spent some time in Kenya so I'm very happy to see that you are doing ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >
153 weeks ago Everlyne Cherobon updated this Competition Entry.
153 weeks ago Everlyne Cherobon updated this Competition Entry.
159 weeks ago Everlyne Cherobon submitted this idea.