Subject: Launch of Ukambani Farmers’ forum
Venue: Garden Hotel Machakos
Time: 10.00am - 1.00pm
Date: July 23, 2005
Contact: James Shikwati 0733823062, 020-2731497 email firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>
Launching of Ukambani Farmers’ Forum
And release of the report on
Commercial Farming for Low Resource Farmers: The Case of Eastern Kenya
Over 100 low resource farmers are expected to converge in Machakos as a prelude to strategizing their engagement in commercial activity as a way to fight poverty. Leading Agri-business, Micro - Finance institutions, NGOs, Community based organizations, Agriculture Research organization, and Ministry of Agriculture officials, will participate in this event.
The Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) is set to launch a farmers’ forum in Eastern Kenya with a view to increasing food production through commercial farming strategies among the low resource families. This follows a three month pilot study that IREN conducted with an objective of identifying constraints to agricultural production, major maize seed varieties and assessment of the socio-cultural and economic dimensions to marketing and consumption of the low resource farmers in Machakos, Makueni and Kitui (Eastern Kenya). A total of 644 farmers were interviewed alongside other key actors in farming such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Institutions, Seed companies, and Seed stockists, Non Governmental Organizations, Community Based Organizations and Micro Finance Institutions.
Agriculture in Kenya is predominantly carried out by low resource farmers. They account for 75% of the total agricultural output. However most of the low resource farmers who form a bulk of Kenya’s population, continue to face many challenges such as lack of finances and unreliable rainfall that hinder their potential for expansion and ultimate contribution to economic growth. Commercial agriculture can play a significant role in promoting livelihoods, consequently there is urgent need to strengthen commercial initiatives in hardship areas while promoting business ventures to invest and partner with rural communities. "Our objective is to create a network and encourage business entities to be on the frontline of making poverty history in Ukambani. Low resource farmers have the potential of driving the economy of the country to the next level. Business initiatives along with educational outreach by non governmental organizations, students, and other friends of entrepreneurship will ensure that the perennial food shortages in Ukambani and in Kenya as a whole will be a thing of the past. Our farmers’ meeting will be taking the first step in making this possible" James Shikwati, Director Inter Region Economic Network.
The launch forum will also witness the release of a study report ‘Commercial Farming for Low Resource Farmers: The Case of Eastern Kenya’ by James Shikwati
To confirm your participation, call Zainah 020-2731497, 0724964191
Inter Region Economic Network: P.O. Box 135 GPO Code 00100 Nairobi Kenya, Phone 020-2731497 (Nyaku House Mezzanine Floor - Hurlingham Shopping Center) www.irenkenya.org <http://www.irenkenya.org>
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