Financial management, sales and marketing, and IT systems training are amongst the supports being provided to Kenyan companies, as part of a programme to develop the business potential of cassava production in the country.
Farmers cooperatives, collection and bulking depots and other small and medium enterprises are receiving technical backing to improve the business efficiency and management systems of firms that work with the root crop.
A starchy root tuber that can cope well with challenging climatic conditions and is therefore a valuable food crop in Africa, the project is developing the commercial potential of cassava, and improving access to markets for 28,000 farming households in the region.
Nine business service providers have been retained by Self Help Africa to mentor and train farmers coops and centres working in the cassava value chain, to overcome obstacles to their business growth.
Micro-loans provider, Rafiki Micro Finance Bank, who are an implementing partner in the project have provided more than 13m KS$ (€115,000) in small loans to provide companies with working capital and allow them to invest in equipment.
Over a five year period the programme, funded by the European Union, is aiming to work with 28 MSMEs and 14 agricultural cooperatives. The project aims to improve both market access and the profitability of cassava production for small-scale farming households in the country.
Amongst the companies to have benefitted from the project to date are Eastcom Natural Foods, Machakos Millers, Magos Farm Enterprises, Escope Strategic Solutions Limited, Christine Mwita General Stores, Gokona Aggregation Centre and Kasembo Aggregation Centre.