From the C.E.Os desk:
Too often, a Kenyan family practicing peasant farming on small parcels treads on with life, not making any economic progress year after year. They barely take their children through formal school systems with the benefit of free primary education offered by the government, and their children inherit a smaller parcel of land and the same cycle of just barely getting by. With the greater majority of the rural population largely dependent on small scale farming, this scenario is likely to get more and more dire with every generation.
When we initially got into farming, despite having healthy yields of produce for the domestic market, we made no money. We were however also lucky not to lose much money. It quickly dawned on us that the gap between the various players in the agribusiness value chain is bridged by informal middlemen who basically determine all aspects of the farmers output starting from the point of harvesting. They determine how the produce is weighed, the price, the date of harvest, the level of grading, and sometimes mode and date of payment. This removes a significant amount of empowerment of the farmer and constrains them to the vicious cycle of hand to mouth existence where the proceeds from sale of produce often only enough to cover costs of production.
Part of our business is dedicated to our commitment to create a lasting impact in the livelihoods of our small community of partner farmers and our employees. Our special relationship with our customers afford us the stability to keep our promises to our partner farmers on schedule of harvests and predictability of prices which helps them plan their crop cycles. We also engage in financial literacy sessions with some of the farmers to enable them map our longer term plans for sustainable agribusiness. The impact that this creates has been a major motivating factor for our staff, knowing that every shipment they process translates to a step towards economic freedom for a family somewhere in Kenya, as well as a fresh and healthy meal for our customers on the other end of the value chain.
We work with measurable time bound personal achievements targets for our staff and we are proud to be making a positive difference in the lives of all the parties we deal with in our business. We believe that healthy relationships are the foundation of a healthy business and everyone in our team understands, believes in and strives to better our relationships with our stake holders every day.
To our customers, we commit to delivering healthy and freshly picked fruits and vegetables and to continually strengthen our logistical efficiencies so as to maintain the highest level of reliability because your business is our business.
C.E.O, AgroFirst (EPZ) Ltd