Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Cooperative receives post-harvest handling equipment

By Bob Aston
The Laikipia Produce and Marketing Co-operative Society on September 7, 2015 received a Digital Platform Weighing scale (PS-600) and Super Pro Moisture Analyzer from the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC). Representatives from SNV- Netherlands Development Organization and Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) witnessed the handover by EAGC at the cooperative store in Sipili town, Ol-Moran Ward.
The EAGC support is towards enhancing the capacity of the cooperative towards managing members and other smallholder farmer’s cereal produce. The basic post-harvest handling equipment’s will help the members reduce post-harvest losses.
The digital weighing scale being set up

Speaking while receiving the equipment’s, Mr. Waweru Kanja, Chairman, Laikipia Produce, and Marketing Cooperative Society, thanked EAGC for the kind gesture and the support that it is giving the cooperative towards ensuring that it succeeds as SNV’s Grain Business Hub (GBH).
A GBH is a business characterized by amalgamation of supportive businesses/services linked to grain business that enables an organization to trade in grains efficiently, effectively and sustainably.
“ The basic post-harvest handling equipment’s will not only ensure that members of the cooperative reduce post-harvest losses but that the cooperative is able to store grains to a standard required by most structured markets,” said Mr. Kanja.
Mr. Kanja noted that the super Pro Moisture Analyzer would benefit the cooperative in measuring the moisture content of member’s cereals during the drying process and during storage to avoid deterioration of quality or spoilage.
It is easy to operate, allows calibrations, and has shockproof carrying case. The built in automatic temperature compensation and averaging facility leads to results that are more reliable.
The Bluetooth enabled indicator Digital Platform Weighing scale provides an accurate, fast, and versatile series of general purpose weighing scale with check-weighing functions. It includes automatic zero tracking, audible alarm for pre-set weights, and an accumulation facility that allows the individual weights to be stored and recalled as an accumulated total.
The support is also towards ensuring that the cooperative becomes a village aggregation centre. 
Mr. Kanja (In suit) receiving the equipments on behalf of the cooperative
This will enable the cooperative to buy cereals in bulk from members and then distribute and sell them to schools and other structured markets.
Formed in 2013, the cooperative emerged from the work undertaken by ALIN through Ng’arua Maarifa Centre with the support of the Ford Foundation’s Expanding Livelihoods for Poor Households Initiative (ELOPHI).
Its mandate is mainly to aggregate the farming communities by pooling them together and empowering them to take control of their farm’s enterprises, aggregation of farm produce and collective marketing to enhance their bargaining power and profit margins.
EAGC is a membership organization of the grain stakeholders in Eastern Africa. The stakeholders represent the three main sectors of the grain value chain including traders, farmers, and processors. They have been supporting grain aggregation, information sharing and market linkages.
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