What have I been working on since I have been here?
For the past two weeks I have received so much training, I can only describe it as “drinking from a firehose.” I was introduced to the local Corteva Agriscience team in Nairobi who is supporting this project and working on other key agricultural development initiatives in Africa. I was fortunate to have John Morrell and Nate Pierce of the Gold Star FS team accompany me on visits to the Mafuta farmer cooperative where they delivered training to the cooperative members (and me) on the key strengths of farming cooperatives. Gold Star FS has partnered with Corteva Agriscience on food security cooperative projects since 2017.
Of all the knowledge I have gained so far, what has resonated with me most strongly was said by John Morrell and Nate Pierce. There are three components that make a successful farer cooperative, they said. A successful cooperative provides quality product to its members, delivers quality training to its members, and is always focused on profitability.
I remember these principles as I meet with members of the AMPATH Safety Net Team to discuss the continued work of empowering the farming cooperatives here to become financially independent and sustainable.
I know I have a lot more to learn in the areas of agronomy, cooperatives, extension work, and many others, but I am so grateful to be a part of this amazing and driven team! Combining their strengths in these areas with my background in engineering and project management, I know we will continue to help these cooperatives grow, even if the growth happens "pole, pole," Swahili for "slowly."