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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Earthoil staff capacity built on Internal Control System (ICS)

By Teresa Ndirangu
The Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN) through support from the United Nations Development Program Global Environment Facility Small Grants Program (UNDP GEF SGP) organized a one (1) day training on Internal Control System (ICS) on October 17, 2014 at Old House Nanyuki, Laikipia County for seven (five male and two female) staff members of Earthoil Company Ltd.
Earthoil Company Limited works with smallholder farmers in Nanyuki. They promote production of organic Tea Tree by contracting farmers. The organization staff members are required by Organic Standard to be trained annually on issues concerning organic certification.
Mr. Jack Juma and Mrs. Teresa Ndirangu from KOAN took the Earthoil staff members through different areas that need critical attention for organic certification. Some of the areas covered included; documentation needed in each farmers file and how it should be organized, planning for inspections especially when starting a new round of inspections, documents to bring for inspections and informing farmers of inspection.
Other issues covered included; inspecting mostly non compliant farmers, sanctions to give, tips for an effective internal inspection and documents to fill or update during and after inspection.
They were also trained on how they can plan for extension visits, purpose of extension visits, what to do during such visits and the duration that it should take to come up with inspection documents. They were also taken through buffer-zone around organic plots, what other projects do and the easy way to fulfill such requirements.
Earthoil staff members noted after the training on the need to improve on farm diaries to farmers’ record keeping.
Some of the issues agreed upon after the capacity building training included; starting random inspections by the manager, consolidation of internal inspection days so as to increase number of extension days, Integrating gender issues in the day to day work of the organization, properly planning for last internal inspections after knowing when the external inspection will take place, to standardize about the buffer zones and to be inviting KOAN during audit times as observers.
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