Study on Skills Gap Among Smallholder Farmers Leads to Change in County Development Plans
A study commissioned by Edukans to identify skills gaps among small holder farmers, was conducted to improve access to markets in four value chains; chicken, maize, sorghum and soya beans, in Homa Bay, Kisumu, Busia and Kakamega Counties. This included demographic characteristics, socio-economic factors, knowledge attitude and skills gaps factors, situational analysis of skills for improved access to markets, and programming factors.
A validation meeting was held with non-state actors and county government officials to clarify and create demand for the identified issues on improving access to skills for smallholder farmers. The outcome of the meeting led to increased demand by the four county governments to strengthen the counties’ capacities to effectively deliver agricultural extension- and outreach services to the smallholder farmers. Besides improving the skills and technical know-how of skills service providers, particularly lead farmers, agricultural officers, and County and Sub-County agronomists were identified to play an important role in their services to the farmers. The dialogue and discussion of these strategies through the research validation process was broadcasted in both print and radio media, increasing awareness to the identified strategies for improving agricultural development.
Roadmap for agricultural development in the regions
This led to the inclusion of the main research and validation outcomes into the County Integrated Development Plans for Kisumu, Homabay, Busia and Kakamega as a roadmap for improving agricultural development for the farmers in the regions. By working in collaboration with the Four County governments, Edukans is following up on the demand and drive for improving access and outreach to quality and relevant agri-skills for the small holder farmers. Edukans will work with the four County governments to track and follow up their activities to implement the prioritised strategies of improving agricultural extension services and access to agri-skills development for improved food security and access to markets.