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Conservation Agriculture based Equipment Management and Business Skill Training Conducted for Kenyan and Tanzanian CA service-provision entrepreneurs

FACASI Training of Trainers in Kenya and Tanzania

FACASI conducted a Training of Trainers (TOT) training for Kenyan and Tanzanian CA service-provision entrepreneurs in two areas of competences, one was on Two- wheeled based Conservation Agriculture and the second was on Business, financial management and marketing. The Kenyan training was conducted at Nakuru over the period 28th September to 3rd October 2014 and in Arusha, Tanzania from 6th to 10th November 2014, respectively.

The objective of these trainings are to develop the technical and entrepreneurial skills of existing and potential two wheeled tractor service providers. Designed as a Training of Trainers programme, the intention is that selected and authorised trainees would be available to conduct follow-up trainings and mentoring programmes for a ‘second generation of service providers’.

Practical session during the TOT These trainings are designed to contribute towards the central objective of the FACASI project to identify and test site-specific unsubsidized business models that would enable efficient and equitable delivery of the most promising two wheeled tractor-based technologies to a large number of smallholders and private rural service providers.

The design and delivery of the trainings are by FAO - Brian Sims, mechanization consultant and Martin Hilmi, agribusiness officer, with the support from the respective national teams (John Mungoo1, Joseph Mutua1, Stanley Muriuki1, Musa Sang1, Daniel Kinymu1, John Sariah2, and Wilson Baitani 2 Benesta Titus2) from Kenya and Tanzania.

The 2WT-based Conservation Agriculture part of the training covers the concepts of sustainable crop intensification, no-till planter calibration, costing of CA equipment, safe operation of two-wheel tractors and maintenance and field operations of agricultural machinery. This is complemented by business skills trainings that covers subjects that included feasibility study preparation; livelihood analysis; record keeping; profitability and cash flow analysis (gross margins, break-even points, financial and profitability statementsParticipants in a business skills practical exercise, and cash flow); costing and market research.

These trainings are designed as a combination of conceptual topics together with more practical experiential exercises where the trainees were given the opportunity to operate and calibrate 2WTs and CA planters in the field. The business skills component also comprises a series of practical exercises based on the real experiences of the service provider trainees.

An assessment of the training programme for each of the two countries revealed the need for farm machinery dealers to be engaged more actively in the FACASI project with an emphasis placed on innovative development of financial products such as leasing. A follow-up to the training programme is intended to develop training materials. This will be done in collaboration with FAO.

The Ethiopia and Zimbabwe chapter of the training is scheduled to be conducted in the first semester of 2015.










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