Strathmore Business School in conjunction with ESAMI (Eastern and Southern African Management Institute) and Denmark Development Cooperation (Danida), wrapped up the national capacity building development program. Based on a need assessment evaluation, the program built capacity on the knowledge gap in global value chain, with a special attention to the agricultural sector. Through the coordination of Las Petersen, Danida Fellowship representative, Dr. Monica Kerretts, Director Academic Affairs and William Kirwa, Program Leader, Strathmore Business School has been able to hold the training for two annual terms consecutively, since 2014.
The participant composition was a convergence of policy makers in global value chains, and association leads from various farmers’ unions. “When influential people, whom we call change agents in the value chain are trained on how they can source inputs, they are more able to benefit from a frequency reach scale,” explained Mr. Kirwa, Academic Program lead from Strathmore Business School.
Although globalization has opened up new realities characterized by limitless possibilities, global value chain in developing countries is yet to be devoid of operational flaws. Developing countries where primary contributors of the chain are faced with challenges such as poverty and poor access to knowledge, frequently succumb to low returns from their produce.
How can actors in the global value chain yield returns equitable to the already pooled in resources? Is global value chain sufficed to improve the living standards of primary producers in the agricultural sector which in most cases are farmers? Mr. William Kirwa expounded on the impact of global value chain, bringing to mention that farmers and processers who are players in the chain, should be empowered to reap returns from their production, through a competitive advantage. “In order to improve the livelihoods of the producers, we must give value to whatever they do, by oiling the systems in which they operate in. Trained players in global value chain are knowledgeable of mechanisms needed to ensure optimal returns from investments, as well as adequate means to shear down thick trade barriers which can hinder successful transactions,” added Kirwa.
The program was categorized into two, whereby the first part of the program took place at ESAMI- Arusha, Tanzania, with the participants getting acquainted with the grounding work on what a typical global value chain entailed. The second part of the training took place at Strathmore Business school- Kenya, taking them through the theoretical workings of a value chain, with the learning experience being supplement with industry based visits to Bidco and East African Breweries Limited.
The course addressed several units eminent in the value chain, such as; Technical and Financial feasibility, value addition, quality, certification and pricing, strategy upgrading in value chain, impact analysis, just but to mention a few.
Kirwa also remarked on the emergence of international standards dictating quality on imports, which players in the value chain, must be acquainted with, “the emergence of regulatory bodies geared towards acquiring worldwide acceptability for imports’ quality has also been significant. For instance, Europe Good Agricultural Practices Association (Euro GAP) ensures that production processes are done through proper mechanisms.”