2016 is already well underway and at CPF we are delighted that the year has started so positively, with the launch of our producer-led Centres of Excellence in East Africa.
This launch is the result of a Comic Relief funded project that has brought together our producer partners from 13 cooperatives across Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda to discuss ways in which farmer-to-farmer knowledge sharing could be developed and increased across the region.
This has lead to the creation of Centres of Excellence (CoEs) hosted at 3 of the producer organisations: Sireet OEP in Kenya; ACPCU in Uganda; and Mabale in Uganda.
Each CoE will host trainings on demonstration sites and provide materials for farmers based around their own specialist focus area.
Click on the links for to find out a little bit more about what services each of the CoEs offers:
- Sireet OEP, Kenya – Micro-enterprise creation
- ACPCU, Uganda – Coffee quality improvement
- Mabale, Uganda – Techniques to support environmental sustainability
Participants during demonstration site visit
The launch event was held at the end of January in the beautiful hills of Nandi County, Kenya. During this event each of the CoEs presented their work to our network of East African partners and we were all able to visit one of Sireet’s demonstration farms to get a flavour of what a – where farmers were introduced to a variety of micro-enterprise opportunities such as beekeeping and dairy production using hydroponic feed.
This farmer-to-farmer methodology allows farmers to hone their skills, share ideas and develop innovative approaches to combating the challenges they face. It recognises farmers as experts and innovators whilst strengthening their capacity to improve their livelihoods and combat climate change.
Each producer organisation was issued with a scholarship which will allow them to attend a training session at one of the CoEs with some of the lead farmers from their organisation. They will then have access to a micro-credit scheme that will enable them to borrow money to cover the costs of implementing some of these ideas when they return to their farms.
Watch our video to find out more:
Global CoE Network
Inspired by this work in East Africa we have now taken the CoE concept across the Atlantic Ocean to Peru. Funded by the Big Lottery Fund we will be working with our 9 partner organisations to set-up a further 3 CoEs.
It is very exciting to be able to expand this network that will help farmers develop and share even more innovative approaches.
Watch this space for more information…
CPF team and project partners during the launch in Peru