Training Kenyan farmersHelping farmers professionalize their operations.
In a poor country like Kenya, farmers’ first priority is feeding their own family. What’s left is sold. So farmers don’t specialize in one crop or species. Farms with six to ten different crops and animal species are very common. A typical farmer has about one hectare of land on which he grows bananas, cassava and cashew nuts. He might also have about 20 chickens, a few pigs and two or three cows.
Building a Model Farm
Commissioned by Q-point, Niek Groot Wassink travelled to Kenya to help farmers professionalize their operations. This was done in collaboration with Pwani University. A key part of this project is the construction and operation of a ‘model farm’. This farm will be built at the university by students and will function as a model farm for the region. The structure of this farm is similar to that of other farms in the region. It will contain several species of animals and crops.
Learning from each other
DLV Consultancy has developed a method whereby the farmers in the region can learn from each other. Groot Wassink: “Thirty farmers from the region have been selected. These farmers compare their technical and financial results with each other and with those of the model farm.”
The data needed for these comparisons will be collected by students from Pwani University. The next step in the professionalization process will be to use the data for business improvement and new business plans.