Open 2013: Promoting Entrepreneurial Development and Sustainable Agribusinesses in Rural Western Kenya
University of HartfordMarcia Hughes, Ph.D. SociologyDavid Pines, Ph.D. Engineering
Rockwell Rookey, Civil Engineer, LEED AP Dr. Thomas Boving, URI Dr. Katherine Owens, UHart, Politics and Government Maria Arroyo, UHart Politics and Government Student Alex Schettino, UHart ME Student (Graduated) KARI Dr. George Ayaga Ruth Orlale
Amaranth grain was introduced to Western Kenya and other countries as a CASH CROP by Poverty Eradication Commission- 2005 Highly nutritious “super food” (addresses health and food security issues) Drought (and pest) resistant (addresses climate change) – Maize is failing Short growing period (Increased production)
Threshing of amaranth is exhausting workSeeds are small
Sows appropriate number of seeds at correct spacing Little to no waste of seeds Much less thinning/weeding Quality of yield improves
A machine designed to efficiently thresh grains with high quality output No longer exhaustive, dirty, back-breaking work typical of traditional method With a replacement screen/sieve, a single machine can decrease time, labor, and increase quality and quantity for all your grains
Manufacturing and sale of tools: Develop the infrastructure and capacity (locally) for large-scale manufacturing of the mechanical seed planter and the human-powered thresher. Customers need customers: Assist small to medium farming enterprises in increasing quantity and quality of amaranth production.
June 2012: On-the-ground business model Facilitated consensus among stakeholders at each of 5 pilot sites (farming collaboratives-communities): Delineate individual roles and contributions Ensure equity/investment
Partners: Kenya Agriculture and Research Institute Farming Groups Polytechnic School Ministry of Agriculture
Community mobilization: Each group has its own dynamic and history with each other and with us - modified accordingly
Transferring/sharing knowledge and ideas: Develop a common understanding of the background, “the problem,” and the purpose of the project.
Implementation of Shared Use of Tools: Activities, roles, responsibilities Who will keep the tools? Who will provide oversight, training, and management? How many days will each farm utilize tools? How will tools be transported from farm to farm? Who will be in charge of maintenance? How much to charge individual users? **Our customers have customers: Increasing production of amaranth grain locally
November 2012 and January 2013 field trips Assess progress: Practical/shared use of tools Tools versus traditional methods (research) Further field testing and modifications Plan for upscaling of amaranth production Identify entrepreneurs: expand/innovate venture model Marketing/partnerships (i.e., Ministry of Agriculture, registries of collaboratives) Seed production and related training
Modify-Test, Modify-Test, Modify-Test : Keep it simple! Takes communication, brainstorming, and time
Involving farmers in the implementation and the testing of the tools: the farmers see the value and need for the tools
Involving farmers in the implementation and the testing: Farmers and artisans build strong working relationships
Involving farmers in the implementation and the testing: Business Venturers step forward
Lessons Learned: The tools will work, now the focusis the business model Nov. 2012
• Detailed business model for tools: Hardware store (micro-finance group) Carpenters (borrow from micro-finance group for start-up funds) Micro-finance group (registered) Train the trainer model Marketing and promotion Payment for maintenance and management (of thresher) Accounting Promotion of amaranth Seed breeding Identification of buyers of amaranth Value add – milling/packaging/KEBS Jan. 2013
Lessons Learned: Transfer of ideas and use of modelfor other ventures CBO Executive Committee
Expand our partners and focus on supporting business venture and other entrepreneurs Increase production of amaranth Further too development: Are we saving on time and improving work conditions? Are we improving quality and quantity? More training on production of amaranth and develop train the trainer model Advisory committee
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