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Open 2013:   Promoting Entrepreneurial Development and Sustainable Agribusinesses in Rural Western Kenya
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Open 2013: Promoting Entrepreneurial Development and Sustainable Agribusinesses in Rural Western Kenya


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  • 1. University of HartfordMarcia Hughes, Ph.D. SociologyDavid Pines, Ph.D. Engineering
  • 2.  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
  • 3.  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)
  • 4. Threshing of amaranth is exhausting workSeeds are small
  • 5.  Sows appropriate number of seeds at correct spacing Little to no waste of seeds Much less thinning/weeding Quality of yield improves
  • 6.  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
  • 7.  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.
  • 8.  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
  • 9.  Partners:  Kenya Agriculture and Research Institute  Farming Groups  Polytechnic School  Ministry of Agriculture
  • 10.  Community mobilization:  Each group has its own dynamic and history with each other and with us - modified accordingly
  • 11.  Transferring/sharing knowledge and ideas:  Develop a common understanding of the background, “the problem,” and the purpose of the project.
  • 12.  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
  • 13.  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
  • 14.  Modify-Test, Modify-Test, Modify-Test : Keep it simple!  Takes communication, brainstorming, and time
  • 15.  Involving farmers in the implementation and the testing of the tools: the farmers see the value and need for the tools
  • 16.  Involving farmers in the implementation and the testing: Farmers and artisans build strong working relationships
  • 17.  Involving farmers in the implementation and the testing: Business Venturers step forward
  • 18. Lessons Learned: The tools will work, now the focusis the business model Nov. 2012
  • 19. • 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
  • 20. Lessons Learned: Transfer of ideas and use of modelfor other ventures CBO Executive Committee
  • 21.  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