News Categories: Agriculture and Cooperative Development

17 Dec
By: Peter Kiprop 0

FARMERS EXCHANGE VISIT TO MACHAKOS COUNTY FOR CHESUMEI LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION PROJECT

As part of inter-county learning and exchange program, the county department of Agriculture and Cooperative Development through the NARIG project organized for a peer to peer exchange visit for Twenty Five farmers drawn from Chesumei Sub – County to Mwala Sub-County in Machakos County.

Farmers learning exchange program allows beneficiaries within a micro-catchment to tour identified parts within the country where technologies on Sustainable Land Management (SLM) have been successfully implemented.

The aim of the visit was to expose the farmers to the techniques so that they can practically learn and implement them on their farms upon return from the tour. NARIGP Nandi conducted farmers learning tour to Machakos County under Component 3 (Supporting County Community-Led Development) from 9th to 11th December 2020 for Chesumei Landscape Conservation project.

The tour was one of the mandatory activity proposed in the Chesumei SLM proposal. Those included in the learning tour were farmers, the Project Management Committee (PMC) and County Technical Staff (CTDs). Specific criteria were used to select the farmers as per the project guidelines. Machakos County was selected for the tour based on its success over the years in implementing SLM technologies and the existence of a similar agricultural project to Nandi County.

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14 Dec
By: Faith Songok 0

YARA MILA PROGRAM OFFERS YIELD PRODUCE SUSTAINABILITY SOLUTIONS TO FARMER COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES IN NANDI.

The cooperative model is best known for its versatile approach in supporting the broad spectrum of a farming enterprise. It is in its collaborative nurture that it continues to be the only effective vehicle of development that can fully support an individual farmer in all the phases of his farming venture. The department recognizes this and is in a continuous dedicated pursuit to equip its cooperative societies with effective knowledge and resources in a bid to have its farmers be among the top leading players in the market.

On Monday the County Government of Nandi through the department of Agriculture and Cooperative Development in partnership with YARA Mila fertilizer program held a workshop constituting officials of farmer cooperative societies across all value chains and YARA Mila fertilizer. The workshop agenda was geared towards informing the societies on YARA products and the niche it closes when it comes to solving low farm output problems as a result of unsuited nutrient application, poor fertilizer composition and wrong quantity use per acreage.

The value chains represented was tea, coffee, and avocado, potato, maize and dairy.

Farmer societies representative officials

YARA Mila is a high quality standard fertilizer which brings quality and high productivity to the yielding phase of a crop. The uniqueness of YARA Mila fertilizer is that it is formulated with an analysis assurance specifically tailored with nutrients rightly configured to suit the different needs of each crop, type of soil and the acreage capacity.

Display of YARA Mila fertilizers

YARA Mila products provide all nutrients intended for higher yields, are less acidifying and friendly to soil and are an affordable solution to higher farmer profitability.

YARA Mila representatives took the meeting through a detailed explanation of YARA products, their product composition, benefits, recommended usage, and the specific types for different crops.

According to Mr. Sengwer YARA territory manager, Cooperative societies and YARA program share an interest in improving farmer lives and it is in this intrigue that the organization seeks to form a partnership with cooperative societies in an aim of doing business with these farmer institutions.

YARA Mila Territory Manager, Mr.Sengwer.

He emphasized on the tailor effect YARA products have specific to the needs of each value chain and its unique benefits of providing all nutrients intended for higher yields, its properties are less acidifying and friendly to soil and it provides affordable solution for higher farmer profitability through inputting less and yielding more.

Speaking during the event, CEC Agriculture and Cooperative Development, Dr. Kiplimo Arap Lagat appreciated the role of the partnership in providing knowledge for the growth of the farmer.

CECM Agriculture and Cooperative Development, Dr.Kiplimo Arap Lagat

Key among is the need to restore back our soil properties which according to KALRO has been extremely acidified through the common use of Diammonium phosphate (DAP) fertilizer in the area. DAP is not favorable to soils due to its high acidifying effect that in turn results in poor yields.

He also informed on models the county government is working on to strengthen the structure and equip the leadership of cooperative societies so as to enhance good governance among farmer institutions.

‘’Good governance is of importance to drive proactive measures needed for a farmer to benefit from the collaborative nature of a farmer society. I urge the cooperators present to use their positions to effect change in the mode and way of doing farming in Nandi. Nandi has a very big potential of being a top leading player in the sector owing to the fact that its farmers practice diversified farming.”

He urged the officials to look into systems that will negotiate better prices of inputs and resources to their farmers and those which would provide a platform for all value chains to coexist and share support.

He assured of the County Government support to see a forward movement of all farming activities in the interest and benefit of a farmer.

Also in attendance was Chief Officer Agriculture who recognized the role the partnership provides in securing food certainty in our county and its position to make farming a high profitable venture for farmers.

Chief Officer Agriculture, Mr. Wilson Lelei

The Managing Director YARA East Africa praised the mark of quality of YARA products stating that it is the leading fertilizer according to the measure of ISO standards. He also stated that apart from its interest in impacting farmer lives, the partnership goes a long way in creating systems to aid cooperatives better track their farmers’ productivity levels and thus provide opportunities to improve and stabilize their yield return.

Managing Director YARA Mila East Africa.

Also among the partners of YARA program was Co-operative Bank represented by Mr. Kipchumba. Co-operative Bank has a Memorandum of Understanding with YARA to support farmers’ access farm inputs. Within the program, the bank will help finance purchase of the fertilizer through a credit system. The MOU targets farmers, farmer societies, agro vet companies and SACCOs.

Cooperative Bank Relationship Manager, Mr. Kipchumba

“The credit system used does not incur interests and the only charge to be incurred will be a 2% service fee.”

YARA products are available at Jubilee, Tiryo, Chai Farmers and Wareng Agro Vets.

 

Mrs Leah Saina a farmer and treasurer Cebo Kaptich cooperative society giving a testimonial on the results of using YARA fertilizer on her tea farm.

Planning Officer Cooperative Development, Ms Charity Jepkosgei giving a vote of thanks in representation of the office.

 

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04 Dec
By: Faith Songok 0

LYMYO INUKA JOINS THE CO-OPERATIVE RISE.

The County Government of Nandi has been keen to equip channels of improving the economic lives of its residents at the grassroots level. The focus to achieve this has been realized through mechanisms of collaboration and mutual agreements. Hence mobilization of strengthening and creating community and self-help groups whose objective is to put together resources at their disposal and makeshift them into an income-generating source.

Members of Lymo Akai sacco participating in the forum

While on the same focus, the co-operative model has been a major boost to this approach, and over the year, the County Government of Nandi through the department of Agriculture and Co-operative development has been able to engage with members of a society to create co-operative societies in a quest to benefit and increase their margins of resource turn over.

Chesumei Sub County Co-operative Officer, Joy Chemutai guiding the members through the co-operative structure

On Friday, a newly registered savings and credit cooperative society, LYMO INUKA received its certificate of incorporation.  LYMYO INUKA comprises largely of parents from Kokwet area in Mosoriot who came together to ensure the education of their children is completed successfully. The group after sensitization from the co-operative development office opted to graduate its previous membership as a self-help group to form a SACCO. This is in regards to the immense benefits a SACCO has especially with its credit access facility which is a key interest to the members of LYMYO INUKA.

The SACCO members displaying the certificate of incorporation

The launch was a success with the presentation of certificate, election of officials, and a further seal on the bylaws of the SACCO.

Chesumei Sub County cooperative officer with elected management committee

 

Chesumei Sub County cooperative officer with elected supervisory committee

Elected education committee tasked with organizing trainings and learning scapes for members

Elected credit committee

Officiating and overseeing the event, Chesumei Sub County Cooperative Officer, Ms. Joy Chemutai applauded the team for taking on an ambitious plan. She urged the management and the members to put in the hard work for the success of the SACCO.

Chesumei Sub County Cooperative Officer, Joy chemutai handing the certificate to the chairman of Lymyo Inuka Sacco

She also assured them of the support of the County Government in all their activities until when they can stand firm on their own.

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13 Nov
By: Faith Songok 0

CREATING STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS TO AID LELCHEGO DAIRY CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY EXPAND ITS FINANCIAL POTENTIAL.

The County Government of Nandi through the Department of Agriculture and Co-operative development is working to strengthen strategic relationships between cooperative societies and key stakeholders. As a liaison body, the cooperative development directorate aims to expand the productivity and profitability of farmer cooperative societies through key stakeholder engagements and partnerships.

Director Co-operative Development,Mr.Stalin Koech chairing the meeting.

It is on this mandate that on Thursday the department of cooperative organized and oversaw a business to a business meeting between Lelchego dairy cooperative society, Cooperative Alliance of Kenya, and Agricultural Finance Corporation.

Lelchego dairy Cooperative Society Chairman, Mr. James K. Letting.

The meeting saw the two stakeholders agreeing to support the progress of Lelchego’s financial potential in their different areas of expertise and capacity.

Lelchego dairy management in consultation with Cooperative Alliance of Kenya consultancy.

The Cooperative Alliance of Kenya was represented by its business and financial advisory. The team is to create a customized business plan for dairy society. The business plan will encompass a well-articulated strategic structure that will keep Lelchego on the top charts of potential financiers and investors while they seek financial support for their projects.

C.A.K relationship manager field services, David Osata.

CAK consultant Ursula Gesembe stated that the business plan is the only effective path to seeking financial support and attracting serious investors. She gave examples of cooperatives that have worked with them and are now realizing huge profits from taking this step as the first means.

C.A.K business and finance consultant, Ursula Gesembe addressing the meeting.

“Murugu and Kinangop Saccos started small and in their determination to scale up consulted with us for their customized business plan. Now the two are collecting milk from all over the region and have secured high return investor partnerships with reputable organizations. Murugu has recently been able to secure two extra coolers with no extra cost from their pockets because of the convincing power of their business plans.”

She was optimistic that Lelchego is on the same promising path owing to the fact that it is located in a milk invested area compared to the other two mentioned. She, therefore, praised the management for agreeing to the partnership and promised that the consultancy will deliver on the business plan.

The business plan structure will be tailored around the society’s financials, future project plans, project reports, the capacity of production, society profile, organizational structure, audited accounts, and strategic plans.

CAK consultancy also offers support in areas of formulation of co-operative policies, standard operation procedures, human resource consultancy, and training.

C.A.K financial consultant, Elisha Ojwang.

Agricultural Finance Corporation Manager, Dorcas Sang on the other hand spoke on the role of AFC in assisting the development of agriculture and agriculture industries by making loans to individuals and groups engaging in agricultural activities.

AFC Manager, Dorcas Sang

She highlighted the stability and flexibility of acquiring AFC loans as it is specifically created to meet the nature of the value chain.

“The advantage of financing with AFC is that the facilities they offer do not limit your borrowing capacity. It also finances along the value chain and we work within the scope of the organization memorandum.”

Also present was Kipchumba, a financial advisor from Cooperative bank who briefed on financial packages the cooperative is fit and eligible to acquire and ones that are more cost-efficient and effective.

Cooperative Bank financial advisor, Mr. Kipchumba.

Chesumei Sub County Co-operative Officer, Joy Chepchumba.

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12 Nov
By: Peter Kiprop 0

FIELD DAY- Enhancing Food Security and Income through Partnership.

Today, hundreds of farmers and non-farmers alike participated in a Farmers’ Field Day organized by the County department of Agriculture and Cooperative Development in partnership with Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme Climate Resillient Agricultural Livelihoods KCEP-CRAL held at Mr. Samuel Kemboi’s farm in Kapkobis village, Chemundu – Kapng’etuny ward, Chesumei Sub-County.

Farmer attendance at Samwel Kemboi’s farm in Chesumei sub county.

During the field day, farmers were trained on various appropriate varieties of grains and other crops that would do well in the county. The event took a hands-on approach with farming professionals, extension officers and exhibitors who were available to showcase and explain best farming methods and practices.

Farmers on training.

Speaking at the event, Chief Officers for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Mr. Wilson Lelei reiterated the Government’s commitment to continue supporting farmers with subsidized Agricultural Mechanization Services AMS for ploughing and other land preparation, certified seeds and trainings to ensure that farmers produce the best and fetch good prices.

Chief Officer Agriculture, Mr Wilson Lelei addressing the farmers.

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05 Nov
By: Peter Kiprop 0

KEBULONIK REFORMED GROUP BOUNTIFUL HARVEST

Kebulonik Reformed Women Group in Sang’alo – Kebulonik ward supported by the County Government of Nandi through the National Agricultural & Rural Growth Project (NARIGP) have recorded an impressive harvest in Irish potato farming reaping approximately 40 – 50kg bags from their 0.6 acre farm.

The harvest

The group of reformed alcoholics and brewers who lived by the bottle for years attribute the bountiful harvest to the use of certified seeds and implementation of Farmers Field Schools (FFS) by the Agriculture department in the area.

Success of the harvest attributed to the use of certified seeds and implementation of Farmers Field Schools (FFS) by the Agriculture department.

Hoping to change and encourage some of their neighbours who are still indulging in alcoholism, the group of 25 members are determined to scale up their farming in the next season.

Group members harvesting.

After presenting a proposal for funding, the group was successfully awarded all the necessary farm inputs for Irish potato farming which included;a water pump generator, digital weighing scale, 2 rolls of horse pipes and materials for the construction of a storage facility which is now complete.

Besides supporting small scale farmers increase production, the project also aims at transforming vulnerable farmers venture into profitable farming hence a decent income.

The group aims at transforming vulnerable farmers ventures into profitable farming.

# TransformingNandi

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26 Oct
By: Peter Kiprop 0

KAPNGORIOM FARMERS COOPERATIVE APICULTURE VENTURE

On Friday 23rd October, the Chief Officer for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Mr. Wilson Lelei joined Chepkunyuk Ward representative in the County Assembly Hon. Dr. Paul Sanga, Agriculture staff and members of Kapngoriom Farmers’ Cooperative in unveiling of their new society and bee farming project.

Chief Officer Agriculture Mr Wilson Lelei presenting certificate to members of the society.

Presiding over the event, the CO called on residents of Chepkunyuk Ward in Nandi Hills Sub-County to take up the lucrative apiary venture saying that it is more profitable than most traditional crop farming. He took the opportunity to reaffirm the county government’s commitment in strengthening cooperatives through funding, technical advice and support.

Chief Officer Agriculture,Mr Wilson Lelei.

The department of Agriculture has been training and sponsoring exchange visits for young enthusiastic farmers on modern bee-keeping technologies to boost their production. The Government of Nandi pledges to continue with the support through extension services and more funding though the National Agricultural & Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP)

Display of the hives.

Dr. Sanga who likened the Choimim area to ‘Canaan’ said that with the unveiling of the first Apiary Cooperative Society in the area, the place will soon be full of milk and honey.

NARIGP County Project Coordinator Mr. Jared Mutai reiterated the government’s devotion in support of Kapngoriom Farmers’ Coop through the Sustainable Land Management (SLM) window supports Common Interest Groups and Producer Organizations (POs).
He encouraged the group to devise a proposal, with the help of Chepkunyuk Community Driven Development Committees (CDDCs), for funding towards expanding their apiary project.

Nandi NARIGP Coordinator, Mr. Jared Mutai

According to the society’s secretary, the group which has 50 Langstroth hives looks forward to expanding their capacity to 200 beehives with the county’s support. The event culminated with the official unveiling of the apiculture venture and presentation of certificate of registration as well

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24 Oct
By: Peter Kiprop 0

CHEPKUNYUK DAIRY FARMERS NOW SET WITH A COMPLETE MILK COOLING AND STORAGE FACILITY.

Construction of a new milk cooling and storage facility with a holding capacity of 5,000 litres at Choimim, Chepkunyuk Ward in Nandi hills Sub County is now complete.

Establishment of the modern facility seeks to improve the farmers’ milk production capacity by enabling them preserve their milk and sell it to processors at a good price and at their convenience.

The Complete Milk Cooling Plant and Storage Facility.

Speaking when he inspected the project, Chief Officer incharge of Agriculture Mr. Wilson Lelei commended the contractor for a job well done. The CO urged farmers to work on increasing their production noting that the new facility will offer bulking and chilling services before milk is transported to processing facilities.

Chief Officer Agriculture, Mr. Wilson Lelei in briefs with management.

Area Member of the County Assembly Dr. Paul Sanga commended the department of Agriculture and Cooperative Development for delivering the project in time. Dr Sanga who sits in the Agriculture committee at the assembly revealed that they are working closely with the Agriculture department and the National Government to ensure installation of coolers is fast-tracked.

Mr Joshua Araap Bungei, Managing Director Lelbren Dairy Co-operative Society, thanked the county administration for setting up the cooler in the area saying that farmers are more than ready and eagerly waiting to make use of the facility.

Chief Officer Agriculture, Mr.Wilson Lelei with management team behind successful completion of the milk cooling facility.

#TransformingNandi

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14 Jul
By: Faith Songok 1

OPTIMIZATION OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE TO SUPPORT THE AVOCADO INDUSTRY IN NANDI

On Tuesday, the Department of Agriculture and Cooperative Development held consultative talks with member officials of the Nandi Avocado Farmer Cooperative Society.

The meeting was centered on discussing progress and process other ways of strengthening the capacities of its subcommittees in a bid to fast track and enhance operations of the society.

In attendance was sub-county cooperative officer Mr. Hosea Kiprop. Mr. Hosea underscored the various roles of each subcommittee and the responsibility each share as a means to successful returns of their members’ investment.

Sub-County Cooperative Officer, Mr Hosea Kiprop following through the session.

Areas discussed were on governance, education and training, finance, production and marketing, procurement, and oversight.

It is the role of the office to ensure cooperatives are well guided and that they have access to all the necessary tools they require for increased productivity thus profitability.

Meeting in progress

Avocado is one of the priority value chains the county government is scaling up as a means to introduce its farmers’ produce internationally.  Avocados in Kenya can be sold in the lucrative markets in Europe, the Middle East, and South Africa prior to previous restrictive measures that had seen avocado imports from Kenya restricted from international borders.

The county government of Nandi, therefore, through the department of Agriculture and cooperative development has invested in processes to capacity build the value chain to take advantage of such a profitable venture.

Members following through

It has provided funds and created marketing channels for Avocado produce through partnerships. Such is True Trade Africa who has a Memorandum of Understanding with the County Government of Nandi to support avocado and potato farmers in Nandi, market their products to regional and international markets.

Cooperatives nature of pulling of resources creates a high bargaining power and risk-sharing for its members in an otherwise competitive market environment.

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14 Jul
By: Faith Songok 2

BUILDING CAPACITY FOR EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION OF KOCHENG NGEI COOPERATIVE SOCIETY.

The department of Agriculture and Cooperative Development has continued to support farmer value chain cooperatives in their quest to make their farming activities a worthwhile venture to their members and the society in general.

On Monday, Chief Officer Cooperative Development Dr. Benadatte Tiony met with officials of Kocheng ngei farmer cooperative society to discuss on their progress and relook into modalities that will fast track their investment capacity and thus attract high returns to their members.

Kochen ngei officials in consultative talks with Chief Officer Cooperative Development, Dr. Benadatte Tiony.

Kocheng ngei is a poultry investing cooperative society. It is among the common interest self-help groups who qualified for the National Agriculture and Rural Inclusive Project fund. NARIGP is an initiative of the county governments with World Bank to equip farmers in rural areas with necessary tools to aid in increasing the profitability and productivity of their priority value chains as a measure of improving livelihoods in rural settings

Speaking during the meeting, Chief Officer Cooperative Development, Dr. Benadatte Tiony, highlighted on the various areas of support the office will provide to the team on matters governance, bookkeeping, audits, education and trainings, sensitization, marketing, overseeing service delivery, and providing resources.

Chief Officer Co-operative Development, Dr. Benadatte Tiony and Betty Koech, Sub County Co-operative Officer.

She urged the team to take up their role as economy developers seriously and be game-changers of the poultry industry in Nandi and the region at large.

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