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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Laikipia Maize value chain groups trained on by laws development

By Bob Aston
The Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP) organized three different trainings for maize value chain groups (VCG) in Laikipia County. The trainings which ended on May 13, 2015 at Agricultural Mechanical Services (AMS) Hall in Nyahururu saw 43 maize value chain groups trained on by-laws development, group dynamics and leadership among others.
Participants during the Sipili training
The first training was held at Sipili Catholic Church Hall in Ol-Moran Ward while the other two trainings were held at AMS Hall in Nyahururu. The trainings also provided the Maize ASDSP Project Management Team (PMT) members with an opportunity to highlight the progress made in the implementation of the maize concept note titled “Formation, Legalization and Training Maize Value Chain Groups on Post-harvest Management.”

Speaking during one of the training, Peris Mutua, ASDSP Value Chain Development Officer said that ASDSP used a participatory approach to come up with 43 VCGs of 20 farmers or more in Laikipia West and East Sub Counties.

She noted that Laikipia County farmers lose up to 30 percent of maize harvest due to pests, diseases and rotting. Maize value chain in the county also lacks adequate and effective co-ordination due to lack of organizations to champion the collective interests of the value chain players leading to ineffective post-harvest management strategies.
The maize concept note seeks to address the high post-harvest maize losses in the county by reducing it to less than 15 percent.
Mr. Joseph Chege, Sub County Cooperative Officer noted that by laws are rules or law established by an organization, institution or a community to regulate itself. He said that checks and balances should be established in a group to ensure funds are not misappropriated.
Mrs. Peris Mutua addressing participants during one of the trainings
He said that it is important for roles of Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and the other members of management committee to be clearly defined to avoid conflict. He noted that when making the by-laws groups should ensure that membership is not open to people of unsound mind as they are not contractual.
“Bad leadership always comes up when the Chairperson abdicates himself/herself the role of treasurer, Chairman and secretary. It is wrong for group chairperson to be the ones to handle cash as this role is meant for treasurers,” said Mr. Chege.
To register as a self-help, groups are required to submit a copy of their minutes, by laws and a list of members. Performance of groups can be measured through good records, good leadership qualities, sharing of dividends, transparency and accountability and whether set goals are achieved.
Sources of conflicts in groups include; poor leadership; misuse of group funds; lack of vision. Conflicts can be managed through negotiation, mediation, arbitration and legal redress.
The Value chain groups were also trained on group circle stage that include; forming, storming, norming, performing, adjoining and consolidating stage.
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