Financial Needs Assessment of Green Bean Producers
Kenya is the second-largest exporter of green beans to Europe. Beans are a popular cash crop for farmers of all sizes. Kenya’s success is based on climatic and geographic competitive advantages, market segmentation, investments in certification schemes, value-
adding through packaging, servicing niche markets and investments in marketing. G reen bean production is mainly dominated by smallholder farmers, estimated at 50,000 growers, who are mainly households with less than 2 acres of land.
The fresh bean industry, in general, employs 45,000 to 60,000 people, of whom an estimated 60 percent are women, in commercial farms, processing, and logistics operations.
It is estimated that nearly half or 44 percent of Kenya’s smallholder households are managed by women. Women are active at every point in the food chain and are often responsible for the household farming activities under which most of the green bean farms fall.
At the pack houses, gender roles become distinct again with women dominating handling sorting, grading, and quality control.
Men often focus on tasks such as land preparation, irrigation, spraying, loading and offloading trucks.
Overall, there is a great deal of po tential for green products to improve livelihoods of smallholder farmers and women already engaged as well as to engage new populations in production, such as youth.
Yout h engagement in export horticulture is ranked more favorably compared to other farm-level enterprises due to the high returns per unit area, short production period s and regularity of income.
However, these benefits are more skewed to the resource endowed youths who can make the larger investments required to meet Global GAP standards.
Ultimately, the gaps and opportunities through the green bean value chain need to be fully assessed with a focus on the engagement of women and youth.
Therefore, the Farmer-to-Farmer Program in Kenya is recruiting a volunteer expert to assess the green bean value chain and its participants .
The assessment will be conducted on behalf of a savings and credit cooperative (SACCO) so that the SACCO can better understand the financial needs of the sector.
The SACCO needs support to understand the opportunities and constraints in production as well as commercialization of the green beans value chain in Kirinya ga County.
With the information gained from this assessment, t he SACCO will support farmers to improve their productivity and livelihoods and seize more opportunities for engagement of women and youth.
Objectives of the Assignment
Tasks to be Performed
A Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer will assist the SACCO to understand the constraints and opportunities and identify specific players in the green beans value chain in Kirinyaga county.
The specific tasks of this assignment include :
In the U.S. :
In Kenya :
financial needs? What practices do they undertake (with a view of market needs), what is their internal capacity to ensure product quality and mitigate production and market risks, how are the information channels like
The fieldwork will include focus group discussions and / or key informant discussions with both SACCO staff , target smallholder farmers and oth er value chain players .
The number of discussions will be determined in discussions with the volunteer and the SACCO. It will also include observation / photography, transect walk, and drive techniques that will be applied to assess the physical circumstances of the target beneficiaries.
End of Assignment Report and Other Deliverables Required
F2F Programmatic Pesticide Evaluation Report and Safer Use Action Plan (PERSUAP) Requirements :
Type 3 (the assignment will probably not have any pesticide issues)
The volunteer shall review the F2F Environmental Brochure and be aware of F2F’s legal requirements regarding the provision of assistance for the procurement or use of pesticides.
The volunteer shall not recommend or provide advice on specific pesticides.
Expertise of Volunteer Requested
USAID and IESC encourage all F2F volunteers to participate in public outreach. An important objective of the program is to increase awareness of Americans’ good work in developing countries.
Volunteers should select at least one outreach activity from the list below, to be completed within two months of return to the US :
And send a link to IESC staff
Description of the Program
The International Executive Service Corps (IESC) serves as the lead implementer for the Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Access to Finance Program (2018-
2023) to address deficits in the financial ecosystem hindering investment and growth in agriculture for individual farmers, as well as micro, small, and medium-
sized enterprises through the delivery of volunteer technical assistance. IESC has designed a thematic F2F program to generate sustainable, broad-
based economic growth and create jobs in the agricultural sector with a special focus on assistance to women and youth. IESC is joined by Grameen Foundation, with outstanding experience in digital finance and technology for the agricultural sector, to provide voluntary technical assistance and address the gaps in the financial ecosystem.
Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, F2F initiatives generate rapid, sustained, and broad-based economic growth in the agricultural sector.
These programs also promote international goodwill, understanding of U.S. foreign assistance programs, and private involvement in development activities.
Through the F2F Program, USAID facilitates the delivery of a broad range of U.S. agricultural expertise using U.S. volunteers who work with farmers, agricultural support systems and associations, and agribusinesses, in developing countries.
The work of volunteers helps improve the quality of the agricultural sector workforce through training and advisory services provided to a wide range of agriculture sector actors.
Volunteer assignments are designed to improve farm and agribusiness operations and agricultural systems.
Focusing on Kenya, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka, the F2F Access to Finance Program will work with local partner organizations and volunteer hosts to field pro bono experts from the U.
S. agriculture, corporate, and banking sectors to address systemic capacity constraints for farmers and lenders in each targeted country and unlock finance for improved agricultural production leading to utilization of agricultural technologies and increased sales and incomes.