During the marketing season FCI took a center stage of creating marketing linkages for the farmers in Mbeere region. Farmers have been connected to export, fresh produce and processing markets. The coordinated marketing has helped farmers to timely offload their produce to the market at the required time.
FCI in partnership with Technoserve implemented project Nurture (Passion and Mango Market Access Development- PAMA) which is the project facilitating trade for 59,498 households in Lower Eastern, Rift Valley, Central and Coastal Kenya. This project is funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Coca Cola Foundation with the aim of facilitating more than 50,000 small- scale mango and passion fruit households (30 % of which are women) to double their income by 2014.
Project Nurture (PAMA) sought to empower the households by offering training programs, facilitating financial services and assisting in organizing them to access inputs and sustainable market channels for their mangoes (Kent, Vandyke, Apple, Tommy and Ngowe) and passion fruits (purple and yellow passion).
The project had significant achievements in developing market linkages for the households; established 160 Commercial Producer groups that have formed 18 CVs; introduced water retention innovation to minimize irrigation losses; developed strategic partnerships with the Ministry of Agriculture and other relevant Business Development Service providers; undertook capacity building in value addition and post harvest management; Nutrition and dietary diversification; Women and youth empowerment.
During the marketing season FCI focused on creating marketing linkages for the farmers in Mbeere region. Farmers have been connected to export, fresh produce and processing markets. Coordinated marketing has helped farmers to timely avail their produce to the market
A farmer from Gatitu Commercial Producing Group (CPG) who sold 4.67 tons of Apple and Tommy mangoes to Sunny processors said, “For the first time in history my mangoes have not rot in the shamba. I’m grateful to Farm Concern International”. This was after he was connected to traders from Muchonoke and Gatitu producer groups who supply to Britannia Company in Uganda. In this particular transaction, 11.6 tons of Vandyke mangoes worth Ksh. 81,200 were sold. Farmers have been trained on formation of commercial producer groups. The groups are trained on good agricultural practices that enhance better quality produce for the markets.
The farmers are also equipped with business skills enhance competitiveness in the mango value chain. As a result , farmers groups gain recognition as formidable business entities that can transact with both the public and private sector. Prior to FCI’s intervention, most farmers in the region sold their mangoes to traders at a throw away price.
Mary Wanjira Kibara, a member of Kamaso Commercial producer group is one of the beneficiaries from PAMA project interventions. Mrs. Kibara had over 50 mango trees of Kent, Tommy, Vandyke, Sabin, Ngowe and Sensation varieties which she planted 28 years ago .Since she began harvesting, she had always sold her mangoes between Ksh.1.50 to Ksh.3 per piece. Some of her mangoes would rot in the farm while others would be given to visitors, children and neighbours. She had almost given up on managing her orchards due to the loses she was incurring. However, through FCI linkages ,she was able to access markets and started selling her mangoes at Ksh.5 per piece.
Many other farmers can give a testimony of their success stories as a result of FCI interventions.
The Smallholder Success Engine
FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond