Village Knowledge Workers (VKWs) played a critical role in developing the capacity of smallholder farmers to commercialize grains in the project area. In order to ensure VKWs are effective in the delivery of the extension services to the commercial villages and neighboring villages, FCI staff offered one-on-one onsite technology support to the VKWs. A total of 84 field visits to VKWs were conducted.
The onsite technology support enhanced effective and efficient delivery of agricultural extension services to farmers in the project area. This is one of the Farm Concern International (FCI) mandate to support smallholder commercialization through systematic strengthening of the commercial villages to inclusively produce and market their grains collectively through the commercial village.
During the quarter phase of the E-warehouse project, FCI conducted 91 commercial Village training meetings with a total of 4,874 farmers being trained in various aspects of commercialization and market development. The capacity building trainings have greatly improved commercial village leadership and governance structures. This was made possible due to support of VKWs who offered trainings from accessing information on their mobile phones.
FCI has been training smallholder farmers on principles of commercial village model which promote collective action on grains marketing, purchase of farm inputs and savings. During the quarter phase, a total of 312 VKWs, who further assisted in reaching out more smallholder farmers, were trained on: production, inputs and natural resource management, savings, micro insurance and investment, marketing, quality assurance and value addition.
The trainings were critical during the period since farmers were engaged in planting, crop management, harvesting, storage and marketing of the grains. The skills and knowledge received during this training enabled farmers to use quality seeds, fertilizer as well as adoption of best post-harvest management practices.
FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond