As FreeKenya we realized that small farmers do have land resources but have a lack of agricultural combined with entrepreneurial knowledge; expertise and practical experience for professional farming. Furthermore, due to climatic changes new methods and techniques are required.
We recognize the Government Of Kenya offers agricultural services through its ministry and affiliate partners and institutions by designing policy and implementation of agricultural laws throughout the country. Also they fund research and instituting public investments for boosting agriculture.
Unfortunate the demand from the farmers is too high what they can address with their offered services and moreover the approaches in implementation are poor by lack of structural follow-up system to measure results. Furthermore, the findings from research institutions and data collection via digital platforms like NAFIS are not reaching the grass root farmers.
The Government of Kenya has short term trade fares/exhibitions which are hard to access because of distances and too high costs for the farmers.
Like minded organizations in the form of NGO’s are many who offer agribusiness trainings with the availability of big resources, however they focus on short-term value chain problems. Most NGO trainings are based on ‘production focus’ instead of market driven focus. Moreover, most external NGO’s come with desk-designed book theory solutions, which are not addressing the practical grass root challenges. Other commercial consultancy firms are based on exorbitant high charges which cannot meet for the grassroots farmers.
Based on our analysis and on-ground study FreeKenya has developed an integrated training model based on relevant agribusiness skills according to the needs of the farmer. Via a Resource Center, the farmer is offered knowledge, technical support and practical experience in agriculture; entrepreneurship and ICT computer Skills. In a structural approach the substituent farmer gets involved to become a professional farmer according to his/her seriousness and initiative. From here, together with xsidentified groups on grassroots level FreeKenya assists in the establishment of satellite Resource Centers via the Farmer Field School approach. The created synergy is on one hand the internal capacity building of the group and relevant increase of assets. On the other hand, this created multi-functional Resource Center will serve as training and learning Center to demonstrate end experiment the best practices in agribusiness. Furthermore, this Center will provide collection and processing facilities of produce to stimulate value addition in the value chain and increase business opportunities. Via the developed online platform updated weekly by FreeKenya, this digital online combines existing initiatives and websites related to all agribusiness information.
Workshops are held on the Resource Center to serve tailor-made agribusiness needs of the farmers for affordable prices.
- Resource Center (physical and digital)
- Training program:
- Basic level:
- Advanced level:
- Expert level:
- Professional level:
- Day workshop related to value chain development in agribusiness
FreeKenya provides farmers training and capacity support on environmentally-sensitive farming methods and entrepreneurship skills to meet local, national and international market standards.
FreeKenya’s Resource Center acts as a demonstration and training institute in agribusiness with theory and practical training programs with innovative methods and technologies in agriculture, livestock, water and renewable energy, through a Farmer Field School approach.
Farmer Field School Approach (FFS) – is based on the concepts and principles of people centered learning, and was developed as an alternative to the conventional top-down test and verification
(T&V) extension approach. It uses innovative and participatory methods to create a learning environment, including learning networks, in which the land users have the opportunity to learn for themselves about particular crop production problems, and ways to address them, through their own observation, discussion and participation in practical learning-by-doing field exercises. The approach is now being used to enable farmers to investigate, and overcome, a wider range of SLM problems, including soil productivity improvement, conservation agriculture, and control of surface runoff, water harvesting and improved irrigation (FAO 2014).
FKF’s Resource Center has also a digital resource center that is kept up to date via our website, serving as a digital platform containing all kinds of agricultural and entrepreneurial inputs and linkages to relevant technology, markets and with our social media features.
Aside from the daily specific workshops which FreeKenya initiates, the main activity is to build the capacity of the marginalized farmers to become professional farmers via the structural 4 staged training program to transform their farms into profitable and sustainable MoneyGardensTM.