University of Twente Student Theses


The Umoja project in Kenya : strategy development for Kenyan smallholder farmers

Foole, Tom and Horstman, Rik (2008) The Umoja project in Kenya : strategy development for Kenyan smallholder farmers.

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Abstract:The Institute for Sustainable Commodities (ISCOM) is a small not-for-profit organization located in the Netherlands. This foundation wishes to make a substantial contribution to the development of sustainable modes of production in order to accomplish poverty reduction in developing countries. ISCOM believes that the main reason for the continuing cycle of poverty in developing countries is the inability of its inhabitants to participate in (international) trade in a professional way, which to a great degree is caused by a lack of organizational capacity. As their initial program, ISCOM Kenya started a project concerning small-scale farmers based in the highlands of Kenya. The project involves four farmer self-help groups consisting of approximately 240 farmers. With smallholder projects like the Umoja project, failure is more common than success in sub-Saharan Africa (KIT, 2006). Common strategies to address rural poverty by increasing returns on agricultural production are likely to fail. Projects with smallholders in less-favored areas (LFAs) such as the Kenyan Highlands bring about great risks and challenges. (de Janvry and Sadoulet 2005) Poor market linkages and institutional failures are known to lead to low margins and efficiency and reduce the effectiveness of agricultural development. (Barrett and Carter 2005) It is therefore essential that the Umoja project has a clear strategy on how the farmers involved can participate in international trade in a professional way. ISCOM uses a stakeholder driven approach for its projects. Stakeholder involvement is essential for the long term success of an organization. (Post, Preston and Sachs, 2002). Considering this the main research problem addressed in this thesis is: What strategy should ISCOM implement for the Umoja project in order to meet the requirements and expectations of the stakeholders and how should this strategy be implemented? In this research we have developed a strategy and an implementation plan for the Umoja project, taking into account the requirements and expectations of the different stakeholders involved in the project. All stakeholders involved have been interviewed about their views on the desired strategy for the Umoja project. Furthermore the opinion of experts and theory was assessed.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
The Institute for Sustainable Commodities (ISCOM)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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