We need to demystify the agribusiness ecosystem before we jump to advocacy and insistently calling youths to embrace agriculture. While working as a volunteer at AgriProFocus Kenya, where my interest in supporting agriculture has been nurtured over a year now, i learnt of this program Promoting Agribusiness Networking and Trade for Youth (PAINT-Y) they are launching soon; but i think there is need to understand Agribusiness Ecosystem before we dive into promoting this wonderful program.
Reading through Wilkin (2015) I discovered that if we have to promote agribusiness it is imperative to first define the disconnectedness and linkages that define an agribusiness ecosystem. According to Wilkins agribusiness does not only mean growing of commodities but involve processing, packaging, logistics and marketing agro-commodities. Therefore, there are vast opportunities in the agribusiness ecosystem that can be explo... Read more
The whole of last week we were celebrating youth week 2018 with a theme of creating safe space for youths that ended yesterday. I was unlucky because the list of those to attend the event at the United Nation Complex in Nairobi was full before they got to my name as an applicant. This did not dampen my spirit for i had the opportunity to follow through all the events that were happening world wide using social media tools. I created the hashtag #AgriSpaceSafe4Youths and used this to interact with fellow youths.
Having been a member of AgriProFocus Network for almost a year now, while reflecting on the conversations that took place concerning creation of safe space for young people especially in agribusiness, i remember a question that was paused to me during an interview with the AgriProFocus office in Nairobi “ According to you who is AgriProFocus?
To me " AgriProFocus is an investment bank with a vast repository of agribusine
My heart is full of hope after attending my inaugural Rural farmers Field days. The zeal and energy of the rural farmers is contagious. It can infect anyone who comes close, this for me is a sign of hope for the agriculture sector. Going forward we have to be determined to make this happen.
Why do I believe that Agriculture is going to work? One elderly man who dropped me at Kapsabet town from the Field day in Nandi profusely appreciated the effort portrayed by a number of young people like Rodgers Kirwa. He observed that young people are leading in taking agricultural talks to the village. He thinks that a movement of young people in agribusiness is in the oving so long as those leading this crusade never cease or give up. For me, this was a confirmation of my conviction that our generation has the ability and responsibility to transform our countries.
I am persuaded by my passion that I have a greater role to p
“Romance without Finance has no chance” This quote from Rodger Frank founder of innovara captured the mood and theme of the SNV Partners day event. To me the quote explains why young people have shunned away from agriculture. From the era of our grandparents, agriculture in Africa was considered what Dr. Akinwumi Adesina calls a social sector. It was only good for keeping the family going as children were encouraged to go to school work hard get job probably in the City in order to save the family from poverty. This thinking contributed greatly to the state of affairs in the Agriculture sector.
Young people including myself deserve a better life hence the fear of engaging in what has been termed non productive social sector -Agriculture , we have to make money to sustain a family otherwise we are condemned to eternal agony of poverty. Therefore, for young people... Read more
Excited and expectant I sat listening at the Social Media workshop by Sree a global speaker and trainer in Nairobi, my convictions that we need a complete overhaul of our communication model were affirmed. According to Sree any business is social hence should find the best way to be sociable by strategically positioning themselves to reap from the blue ocean that comes with social media phenomenon.
There is no secret that relationships are important and they inform every transaction in life. In fact the workshop we held was courtesy of a relationship started with Mr. Sree on twitter that culminated to a free workshop.
Listening to Sree, I had a feeling that one key to social media success is the ability to establish quality relationships and networks. Francis Fukuyama in his book Trust observes that prosperity of future society would depend on their ability to forge strategic partnership and collaboration locally and globally
Given... Read more
The Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) has been implementing two critical programmes: Smart Water for Agriculture (SWA) and Kenya Market-led Horticulture Programme (also known as HortIMPACT). The goal of SWA is to contribute to increased water productivity in agriculture, and increased income and food security through the development of a dynamic and sustainable ‘Smart Water Solutions’ (SWS) sector in Kenya, that adequately meet the needs of small and medium-size... Read more
It is no doubt Africa is on upward trajectory towards being global powerhouse especially in the Agriculture sector. This is not only significant for Africa but also the world given that by 2050 there would be a crisis if we are not able to feed a world population of over 9 billion people.
The June 2018 Africa Business Magazine issue chose to feature Africa’s Best Brands 2018; perusing through one thing that catches my attention is the rarerity of brands in AgriBusiness and Food category. This then means we need to really think of why this is so, given that the rise of Africa is hip-Jointed with development of Agriculture.
Does it mean we still have a long way to go before we realise prosperity in Agribusiness? The answer to this question is in the negative. This negative answer then should be a glimmer of hope to those who want to see drastic transformation in... Read more
There is urgent need to help rural Africa move from zones of economic misery to Zones of economic prosperity. This in turn would start turning the wheels of economic fortune of Africa since it would encourage urban - rural migration. Reading through Using Agriculture and Agribusiness to Bring About Industrialisation in Africa I am persuaded that this task is achievable but we have to be determined and deliberate.
How do we achieve the shifting of Innovation and technologies to production zones? And what would be the contribution of Communication for Agriculture development? Below i discuss a few issues i think if acted upon would answer the questions above:
Facilitating Agriculture Conversation with Local Actors
The recently concluded Mugie Ranch Livestock and Pastoralist show that happened in Laikipia county in Kenya facilitated by AgriProFocus together with other partners is a good... Read more
I was following the Mugie Ranch Livestock and Pastoralist Show that was happening yesterday 02/06/208 in Laikipia County on twitter. I am informed the event was sponsored by AgriProFocus in partnership with other organizations. I am Persuaded this move has potential of transforming agribusiness in Kenya and indeed beyond.
Of importance to me was the presence of Laikipia Governor HE Nderitu Mureithi. Knowing the magic the presence of politicians play in attracting attention of locals, I always tend to think that for us to reach critical mass of farmers with new knowledge and technology, organizations and networks like AgriProFocus should find innovative ways of getting to the bottom of the pyramid and this means trying to reach out to locals in rural areas.
Therefore, I am convinced the place of our AgriProFocus Network is then well determined. That if we have to... Read more
This week I had a privilege of attending the 1st East Africa Digital Farmer conference that was organized by the Smart Farmer Magazine in Nairobi. Agriculture conferences, to my opinion seem to isolate individuals who have not done courses related to Agriculture, of course this might my perception but i am always pushing the boundaries to get into such conferences because I know my skills as a communication practitioner are as important as those of an Agronomist. Of course my clever way of getting into such conferences has been through Volunteerism. I am proud of Agriprofocus Kenya for being the first in opening their doors for me to volunteer. Now i have what will open greater opportunities as Food Security and Social Justice Advocate
Volunteering is what was my ticket to the 1st East Africa Digital Farmer Conference. Pitching my idea of breaking down technology into understandable information for the farmers who were to come... Read more
The theme and mood of the East Africa Regional workshop From early Stage to Scale : Sustaining Results of G4AW Program sponsored by Netherlands Space Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands , Geodata for Agriculture and Water and Water Watch Cooperative in Nairobi was captured by the statement made by Adri Bakker “Information is the Gold and Oil of the future.” However, from the previous Africa Climate Smart Agriculture Summit held at Trademark Hotel Mr. Bakker had sought to know the difference between data and information. During the workshop, I too sought to know what he thought was the difference and he said “Open data is the raw figures that has been collected from the field that would not make sense to the end user; while information is data that has been analysed by experts and can easily be deployed to be used by the end user with easy.”
Sitting and c... Read more
It is no secret Africa is the front-runner continent in the race of saving the world from future food insecurity and poverty. For this to happen though, a number of issues have to be solved. Like Dr. Richard Munang, Regional Climate Change Coordinator observed in his Keynote speech as he opened the AIDF Africa conference, “It takes more than one bracelet to jingle.” Hence for Climate Smart Agriculture to take root in Africa it is imperative for deliberate cooperation and collaboration to be embraced by all stakeholders from all over the world.
For Agriculture to succeed in Africa a critical mass of youth need to be involved. As AfDB’s President Akinwumi Adesina says , “To achieve food sufficiency and turn the continent into a net food exporter, Africa must empower smallholder farmers, who constitute 70% of the population and produce 80% of the food cons... Read more
The effort to find global solutions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be urgent in 2018 than it has never been. Given the rapid growth of world population and the shrinking economic fortunes,unsustainable food production coupled with unstable political environment in most developing countries, call for change of habits and strategies in seeking solution to persistent social problems the world faces today is mandatory. The challenges we face have been created and build over time; in deed the world reluctance to solve them accelerated their compound interest, these social evils as Daniel Goleman calls them in his book Focus can be solved but again as Albert Einstein opines “ We cannot solve our current problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” Hence we need new thinking.
This new thinking in my opinion, just like many other thinkers have indicated lies in embracing Circular... Read more
Circular Economy is a significant step towards achieving Zero hunger goal, creating employment and solving climate change challenges. In deed starting with Agriculture would help us increase the probability of averting major crisis of food insecurity by over 50%.
During the 2017 Agriprofocus network day held at Safari Park hotel I served as an assistant facilitator in some of the sessions. In one of the questions and answers sessions a question was raised by a delegate that required someone from the government to respond, unfortunately we had none. Reading through David J. Garrow’s book The Rising Star - The making of Barack Obama, The Former US president is quoted in his formative years saying “people expect politicians to express some long term interest of theirs and not just appeal to common denominators.” My experience working with legislators in the parliament of Kenya coupled with the experience I had during the 2017 network day compels me to give my opinion of what we need to do in 2018 as we continue building a foundation towards food security.
For over four years in the 11th Parliament I served as a Personal Assistant to a Member of Parliament in the Kenya Nation... Read more
Towards the end of 2017 I was initiated into Agriprofocus family as a volunteer in communication department in Kenya. My short stint at the organization opened floodgates of insight and understanding of Agriculture issues. My hunger towards understanding what ails agriculture and how that can be solve is now insatiable. In fact, I am persuaded that Agriprofocus Network is among the few leading minds in advancing appropriate Knowledge and skills in the agricultural sector.
However, we have a long way to go in achieving Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger . An opinion today 04/01/2018 by Bitange Ndemo in Business daily in Kenya indicated that over 15 million people in three countries Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia are facing dangerous food shortage due to prolonged drought that affected the said countries in 2017.
Because of the prevailing circumstances, and future prediction of food insecurity due to rapidly... Read more
Agriculture is 95% Science and 5% work : Let us put emphasis on the Research and Communication
It is said that innovation happen when a correct mix of ideas occur and I think this is what we need to do as we plan and devise better ways of feeding world population that is rapidly growing. I am fascinated by history, after interacting with some Dutch people and seeing their almost obsession with agriculture; I am not surprised that in 1800s a Dutch had established a farm in Chicago in the United States. We need to leverage on their experience for scientific experimentation and observation to find ways of making Agricultural production efficient and effective in Africa.
Following the revelation by Shimon Peres of Israeli that agriculture is ninety five percent science and five percent work, it then means that majority of us should be involved in planning and researching. Brian Tracy in his audio recording titled Miracle of Discipline, he states that every minute spent plann... Read more
My one month working as a volunteer at Agriprofocus Kenya enjoined me to a community with a clear magnanimous vision of Linking ,learning and leading in matters Agriculture. With my new born enthusiasm in matters Food Security as a mean to an end of achieving my vision of Restoring Dignity of African People; I am compelled to share with the world what I think we need to do for us to attain the sustainable Development Goal 2 – Ending all forms of Hunger.
There is no doubt as to what extent the world's apprehension of the impending danger of food insecurity in the coming days is . In fact, in his inaugural speech for the second term as President of Kenya Mr. Kenyatta indicated clearly that his government would target creation of over 1000 small and Medium scale enterprises in Agro-processing.
But what would be required for this to be achieved? To me it would take the initiative of well meaning individuals and Organizations to lead... Read more
"Your network determines your net worth". This statement should be the guiding mantra for agriculture enthusiasts who seek to ensure Zero hunger Sustainable Development Goal is achieved. If we are to achieve food security in Africa it then behooves us to employ every tactic and techniques to make sure better knowledge and skills reach those who matter – small scale farmers!
During the AgriProFocus Network day held in Safari Park on the 15th of November, several things stood out for me and this I think if diffused to the lowest ranks we would experience exponential growth in agricultural sector in the world. Below are some of the issues:
Given the role I was playing I had an opportunity to interact with majority of delegates. What was clear from my interaction is the passion with which people shared what they are doing in their small ways to improve both their lives and that of their clients was invigo... Read more
Agriculture has become a common song sang from the villages to cities, from village baraza (Meetings) to super high level Meetings in United Nation forums. The attention given to the subject calls for all stakeholders to thoroughly scrutinize how agriculture would positively or negatively affect their lives.
It is evident that agriculture has captured attention of the world because of its double edged potential to either destroy or prosper the world. That if the world is not keen to increase and sustain agricultural productivity, we run a risk of facing severe Food Insecurity given that world population is increasing exponentially and that by 2050 we would click 9 billion people. Fortunately, if we manage to create sustainable and inclusive agriculture, the holy fear of food insecurity that freeze hearts of many every time that imagination appear in mind would disappear into thin air.
Agriculture has a ve... Read more