The Global Agribusiness Management and Entrepreneurship (GAME) Center hosts webinar to discuss the challenges faced by Agripreneurs in light of the COVID-19 pandemic

The UC Davis Pallet Dryer under installation. It uses solar energy to dry goods to enable farmers store goods for sale when conditions are favourable.

The USIU-Africa GAME Center was privileged to host an open forum where agribusiness entrepreneurs/experts shared their experiences on how they are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a practical, interactive and informative session that provides entrepreneurs an opportunity to learn and if applicable implement the lessons shared. The webinars provide opportunities to get real time data on how agribusiness entrepreneurs are coping with COVID-19 and mechanisms to become a resilient agribusiness entrepreneur now and in the future. Speaking during the webinar, Mr. Eston Muriithi from the Kenya Network for Dissemination of Agricultural Technologies (KENDAT), shared about the Heshimu Punda (Respect the Donkey) Programme which encourages donkey owners and users to value them as important animals which need to be taken care of considering the vital role they play in improving people's lives. KENDAT with the support of the Brooke Hospital for Animals advances capacity for humane utilization of Equines (horses, donkeys and mules) with particular attention to the highly neglected donkey.

The Heshimu Punda Programme advances practical community knowledge transfer efforts in donkey health & husbandry management, preventive care and policy influencing, among other livelihood interventions. KENDAT works through catalytic development interventions calling communities into action, to meet their own challenges, as they make informed demands on their development supporters, including the Government. Participants who joined the webinar learnt the importance of being part of KENDAT which offers agribusiness training, teaches farmers how to manage risks not only now but in the future, the need to diversify by working on perennial and bi-annual crops such as fruits, vegetables and rearing of animals.

Mr. Eric Ochola, the Managing Director and Founder of Better Crops Ltd shared how his organization has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that they were able to offer assistance to farmers through their new post-harvest management technologies.

“Our new post-harvest management technologies, provides solutions to small holder farmers by drying their commodities well and faster for safe storage, hence enabling them sell when the market is favorable thereby increasing household income, and also a technology that makes farmers have an accurate way to determine product dryness for safe storage, guaranteeing safe food to consumers and high quality yields to farmers,” he said.

“Our technologies include the UC Davis Pallet Dryer, an affordable technology for drying suited to use with crops such as maize, peanuts, chick-peas, beans, roots/ tubers, chillies and even specialty crops like coffee and cacao and the DryCard- a simple and affordable technology for measuring moisture content in a given commodity,” he added.

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