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Monday, 8 June 2015

Laikipia maize value chain groups form an umbrella organization

By Bob Aston
The Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP)-Laikipia, organized for a two days’ workshop on June 5-6, 2015 at Olympia Hotel in Nyahururu, Laikipia County for 43 Value Chain Groups to form an umbrella maize organization in the County.
The workshop which was also attended by SNV-Netherlands Development Organization and Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) saw the maize value chain groups form an umbrella organization called Laikipia Maize Value Chain Development Network.
Speaking after being elected the Chairman of Laikipia Maize Value Chain Development Network, Mr. Waweru Kanja noted that although farming is a lucrative business few farmers benefit from farming due to exploitation by traders.
The elected officials posing for a photo with ASDSP,SNV,ALIN and Maize PMT Chairman

 He promised to spearhead the umbrella organization in a professional manner and to ensure that the value chain groups enjoy economies of scale through joint marketing and bulking. He thanked Laikipia farmers for prioritizing maize value chain through ASDSP. This he said has enabled many farmers to benefit from post-harvest management training.

“I have been the Chairman of Laikipia Produce and Marketing Cooperative Society for two years and we have managed to address the challenges that our members have been facing during production. I believe that we will address marketing issues through the umbrella organization,” said Mr. Kanja.
On her part, Mrs. Loice Mary Nyawira, Vice chairperson, Laikipia Maize Value Chain Development Network promised to dedicate her time in ensuring that maize farmers in the County enjoy better returns compared to previous years. She said that she will ensure that the umbrella organization embraces new technologies for marketing as well as production.
“We will strive to ensure we identify buyers for the value chain groups. Access to market information is also a priority for us as this has been a challenge for many farmers,” said Mrs. Nyawira.
Other officials elected included: Robert Ndungu-Secretary; Martha Kimani- vice Secretary; and Veronica Kemunto-Treasurer. Members are Andrew Ngari Kigotho, Peter Maina, Francis Gitonga and Joseph Gathungu.
Mr. Kanja being given the umbrella organization registration form
The officials were drawn from the six wards of Laikipia West Sub County namely: Ol-Moran, Igwamiti, Githiga, Salama, Marmanet and Rumuruti.
ASDSP and other stakeholders will facilitate market linkages between the umbrella organization and other structured market players to ensure smallholder farmers who are members of different maize value chain groups improve their livelihoods.
The umbrella maize organization will play a big role in improving organization and co-ordination of the maize value chain in Laikipia County as well as championing the collective interests of the value chain players. This is geared towards enhancing a viable and equitable commercialization of the maize value chain.
ASDSP and other partners including; Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Eastern African Grain Council (EAGC), Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), SNV and ALIN are implementing a maize concept note titled “Formation, Legalization and Training Maize Value Chain Groups on Post-harvest Management.” The concept note seeks to address the high post-harvest maize losses in the county by reducing it to less than 15 percent.
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