Capacity Building and Training
Currently two modules are available on organic agriculture:
- Organic Agriculture for Beginners: In this module, trainees are given an overview on agriculture in Africa and its potential as well as its challenges. The concept of food sovereignty is introduced and trainees learn about local seed varieties. Training is then given on nursery establishment and management with organic principles.
- Organic Agriculture and Internal Quality Management Systems (Intermediate): In this module, the evolution of Organic Agriculture is introduced to trainees. The trainer will then start to go into further information about organic agriculture before teaching trainees about organic soil fertility management. Trainees will also learn about organic pest and disease management practices, organic technologies and post harvest handling.
As well as the two modules on offer, KOAN also offers a crash programme, in which the above topics and more are taught over a two to three day-period depending on trainees’ requirements. In the crash programme, groups of trainees can select modules from organic agriculture and quality management systems to learn.
Quality Management Systems
KOAN offers three training modules on organic Quality Management Systmes:
- Internal Quality Management Systems (IQMS): In this module, participants will be given an understanding of the global overview on Markets and Marketing of organic produce in relation to Internal Quality Management System. Participants will learn about the different types of IQMS and the organic standards and certification systems available. The trainer will then teach trainees about the important organic agriculture stakeholders and their roles in IQMS. The trainees will also learn how to analyze organic production cycles/ systems, will learn how to conduct a risk assessment on a value chain and will also be taught about the roles and ethics of internal inspectors. This is a theoretical and a practical approach including the how to set up an ICS and Manage it for EU, USDA and JAS.
- Participatory Guarantee System (PGS):The training will provide an introduction to participatory guarantee systems and a general overview on the East African Organic Products Standards (EAOPS). Participants will then learn about the PGS leadership structure, key positions and related responsibilities. After this, there will be a democratic election to select persons to fill these key roles. Trainees will then learn about record keeping in PGS and PGS manual development before going on an optional study visit to a PGS group. There after the PGS is reviewed and if in compliance the certificate is issued
- Internal Control Systems (ICS): This module is relevant to producer groups targetting 3rd party certification. At the end of the sessions ICS structure will be in place for implementation. The trainer will give trainees an introduction to ICS, the ICS structure and ICS staff. There will then be a democratic election to select group members to fill the ICS positions.Following this, trainees will learn about and develop an ICS manual as well as being trained on the different forms of documentation/ record keeping necessary for ICS. An optional study visit to ICS groups may be provided as part of this module.
Marketing and Value Chain Development
Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN) organizes 3-5 days training for trainers of trainers (TOTs) on Value Chain Development and access to market. The aim was to train Trainers of Trainers who in turn are expected to train lead farmers on the same to improve their capacity on production for the market place. The trained lead farmers are work hand in hand with farmers groups and other interested communities members to develop functional value chains to ensure organic products get to market in required time, quality , quantity and consistently.
The areas of the training are
- Understanding how market functions and how to carry out simple market surveys
- Understanding organic Standardization and certification for various markets
- Participatory guarantee system ( PGS) for local market certification
- Understand Value chain approach in market development
- Business plans development and entrepreneurship
- Branding ,Packaging and presentation of Organic Products
KOAN also works with companies across the sectors