Last Updated on Thursday, 03 November 2011 13:37
Written by VACID Africa Info
Tuesday, 12 August 2008 22:33
About VACID Africa
Value chain-support business is about creating agricultural value chain linked organizations. Our role has been to identify a value chain that has potential to create wealth for people in a given smallholder environment. We then work with government or donor supported initiatives to make it possible for us to deliver training in value chain based production, after which we support them to undertake value addition on the produce.
Value addition can only be possible if the producers get the necessary financial investment so that they can procure and install a processing system that then becomes the value addition engine for their enterprise. As happens, the investment in the processing infrastructure takes time before it arrives and so we undertake market linkage for what is produced. This then makes the process of investment rather long and uncertain.
We made progress in making the producers come together and aggregate their produce, but it has been a challenge. Similarly, making investors come together and invest with the community is yet another challenge. Our business has been working to make the linkage of the producers, investors and consumers a reality by creating a shared knowledge value-chain platform.
What we do
We catalyze the creation of forums to discuss shared value chain linked investment plans. We plan to bring together the government, angel, and impact investors under one table to discuss investment possibilities. We seek to isolate value chains for different regions, starting with the first one that can act as a pilot to demonstrate what agribusiness can do.
VACID Africa promotes development by re-investing whatever we generate from our consulting work into promoting community investments in capacity building, in developing cheaper ICT solutions to support agricultural value chains, and in promoting market linkages as much as it also supports our own operational existence.
We support activities create inroads into policy institutions that are the government and donors. We create ICT driven learning the vehicle for generating incomes, which we then reinvest in the value chain driven activities that we carry out. We promote share-based investment vehicles by the communities by promoting the use of asset-based investment cooperatives. The assets we consider necessary include:
1. Investing in value chain supply chain enterprises
2. Investing in community ICT infrastructure
3. Training of local trainers in business development and entrepreneurship
4. Training of local technology workers in ICT solutions development
5. Training of communities in business process outsourcing
6. Training of communities in supporting community or social enterprises
7. Investing in value chain processing enterprises
8. Investing in marketing and market linked enterprises
Training Centred Strategy
To achieve the foregoing will call for lobbying with the government and donors. We intend to use the training in Sweden to help open our eyes on how on the possibilities of linkage with governments, angle and impact investors and on consulting based revenue generation so that we do not rely on asking for help when we can collaborate to generate the investments that we seek for.
Our existing partnerships
We intend to use our existing collaborations with:
Cisco Inc: as our technology and infrastructure provision partner to make the online collaboration and networking possible as well as provide the curriculum that will be easy to sell to the consumers in technology based learning and entrepreneurship. VACID Africa Institute is a partner to Cisco
Telecentre.org Foundation Academy: which has been our partner in the development of the community-ICT, business- management-curriculum and seeks to promote the adoption of this curriculum by established community ICT centres. This curriculum provides the foundation for learning business process outsourcing.
Intel Corporation: has been our partner in providing curriculum support to schools for the Intel Easy Steps as a commercial learning platform and Intel teach as free software for use by schools teachers to learn how to manage ICT-based learning in technology adoption.
Ministry of Agriculture’s Agribusiness Department: which provides the human resource base on which we extend our work by training them as our grassroots trainers and extension support people in agricultural production and community enterprise mobilization.
Our Achievements for Kenya
VACID Africa has been making collaboration work. We have only failed to attract investors but our too much focus on ICT had made it seem like that is what we only sought to achieve, since our switch to value chain business integration, our appeal to the market has changed and training on private sector growth will make it even easier.
We have had experiences where this can work. With our experience in the creation of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) which was intended to be a community where local people can invest in facilitating investment in processing what is locally produced in their own area, the local MP in the place where our idea was tested changed it to a motion in parliament. It is now a funding mechanism that has transformed the management of devolved funds in the government.
Our consultancy put in the model of pooled funds to provide a source for lending on a microfinance basis to communities to undertake management of water services also sought to promote private sector engagement in the water sector. Through this we created the country’s Water Sector Fund, which funds the community interfaces that we also proposed in the consultancy in the form of water service boards.
Our UNDP assignment in the formulation of the Youth Fund and the creation of youth entrepreneurs association has now transformed how the government engages with the youth and
Our engagement with the Tax Department which was the precursor to the now Kenya Revenue Authority created what is now the single source of generating funds for the country’s funding through the systems we set up through the Personal Identification Number (PIN).
You are invited
Join our team as a service provider, as a mentor, as a trainee to join a team whose work has demonstrated pathways for engagement between the rural smallholders, the government and the market that is the consumers. Your joining us will help fortify what we have gathered through knowledge by documenting it better and linking this to international thinking and providers of investment.
You will be helping us create a forum of learners and thinkers on how best to achieve the dream of eliminating poverty through wealth creation rather than from handout