Commencement and Launch Meeting for the Integrated Sustainable Production of Tomatoes (ISPOT) in Kenya Phase II

Mary took on the responsibility of representing our team at the highly anticipated Project Inception and Kickoff Meeting for the Integrated Sustainable Production of Tomatoes (ISPOT) in Kenya Phase II. The meeting was held on the 30th and 31st of May 2023 at the Mara Frontier Hotel in Narok, Kenya.

This pivotal gathering served as the foundation for the implementation of the ISPOT Phase II project in two counties, namely Kirinyaga and Narok. The primary objective of the meeting was to unite stakeholders and foster a shared understanding of the project’s scope, timeline, and respective roles.

By attending this meeting, Mary played a crucial role in establishing a strong starting point for the ISPOT Phase II project. Her presence ensured that our team’s voice was heard and that our interests were represented among the diverse group of stakeholders present.

Photo by Waldemar on Unsplash

The two-day event provided an opportunity for stakeholders to align their perspectives, discuss project details, and forge a common vision for the successful execution of the ISPOT Phase II initiative. Through active participation and insightful contributions, Mary helped to facilitate effective communication and collaboration among all involved parties.

As the meeting drew to a close, it became evident that the shared understanding achieved during this gathering would serve as a solid foundation for the subsequent stages of the project. With a clear project scope, well-defined timeline, and clearly established roles for each stakeholder, the ISPOT Phase II project is poised for a successful implementation in Kirinyaga and Narok counties.

Mary’s dedicated representation during the Project Inception and Kickoff Meeting contributed significantly to the collective effort of ensuring a smooth and coordinated start to the ISPOT Phase II project. Her involvement exemplified our team’s commitment to the project’s success and set the stage for fruitful collaboration with all stakeholders involved.

Overall, the meeting was a crucial milestone in the ISPOT Phase II project, bringing together key players and laying the groundwork for a harmonious and efficient project implementation process.

Actualizing the Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA) methodology

The implementation of the Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA) methodology has demonstrated immense potential in revolutionizing the organic industry throughout Kenya. During the trial period implemented in the COVID-19 pandemic years (2020-2022), a lot happened and much more was started.  Among these notable achievements, was the establishment and growth of the Kangari Organic Farmers Markets (KOFAM) and the Gatanga Organic Farmers Market (GOFAM).

Due to the imposed travel restrictions, organic products that were primarily destined for the Nairobi market faced significant challenges in reaching their consumers. Consequently, farmers began exploring local markets as an alternative solution. Initially, the idea of establishing a grocery shop in Kangari was considered, but based on past experiences regarding the management and upkeep of such ventures, it was discarded. Instead, the public market emerged as a favorable platform for selling organic products. Our collaboration with the farmers involved identifying business opportunities and refining them with the 5Ps of marketing (Product, Place, Price, Promotion, and Packaging).

Recognizing the importance of branding, the farmers made efforts to establish their unique presence within the market. They also engaged in negotiations with the County government to secure a dedicated space within the market premises where organic farmers could showcase and sell their products within specific timeframes. Furthermore, the farmers donned distinctive dustcoats and other branded attire, generating additional interest and driving sales. Today, the Kangari market operates successfully, displaying a sense of independence and witnessing ongoing growth. Our role as KOAN primarily involves supporting the Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) associated with the market.

Further accomplishments, which will be discussed in subsequent communique, including the development of herbs and spices dryer, the introduction of KOFAM and GOFAM herbs products, and the establishment of the Kenya Organic Avocado brand.