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Friday, 14 November 2014

SNV kicks of capacity building partnership with Laikipia cooperative

By Anthony Mugo
On November 12, 2014 during a meeting held at Sipili Township, Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) formally began a process aimed at building the capacity of Laikipia Produce and Marketing Cooperative Society (LP&MCS) towards becoming an effective Grain Marketing Hub.
David Makongo from SNV presenting office equipments to the cooperative chairman
This was a follow up activity to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding during which the cooperative was appointed to become a grain marketing hub (GMH), under SNV’s Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP).
Among the commitments made by SNV to the cooperative, which was formed and registered recently with support of Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN), were the following: Support of the cooperative to appoint a full time manager for six months (during the meeting, a job description for the manager was developed in a participatory session involving SNV, ALIN and the Committee members of the LP&MCS) and commitment to support the cooperative to revise and finalise its existing Business Plan.
The SNV also committed itself in provision of office equipment (a laptop computer and a printer) to facilitate efficient running of the cooperative’s work and to support for other allied capacity building needs for the co-operative through training, linkages with markets and input service providers as well as hands on coaching on sound business management.
On its part, ALIN committed to supporting the cooperative by availing Information and communication technology (ICT) services through the Ng’arua Maarifa Centre, supporting farmers to keep accurate farm records and where possible, support the cooperative to implement prioritised capacity building areas identified in an earlier capacity assessment exercise.
Anthony Mugo from ALIN presenting the company seal to the cooperative chairman
At the meeting, ALIN presented a Company Seal that the organisation had helped the cooperative to secure. The seal is a requirement for the cooperative to enable diversification of their business and services to members through establishment of a Bank Agency Service (in partnership with the cooperative bank) and mobile money transfer services.
ALIN has also supported the cooperative in branding: design and production of a company logo and banners. The cooperative is being supported by ALIN to secure a company Personal Identification Number (PIN) from the Kenya Revenue Authority.
On their part, the cooperatives members, through their Chairman, Mr. Kanja Waweru indicated they will move to work closely with a counterpart farmers’ self-help group based in Timau, which is also an SNV Grain Marketing Hub partner.
Specifically, they indicated they would explore how they can be sourcing agricultural commodities abundant in Timau, Meru County namely bananas and potatoes for sale at Sipili. On their part, the Timau group will be sourcing maize from Sipili to ensure sustainable partnership and thriving business operation for both the farmer owned organisations.
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