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Need for smallholder cooperation

(05/06/2011)
Need for smallholder cooperation and establishment of “national committees” were some of the outcomes of a sum-up seminar in Kenya in late May 2011.

  Fred Kowero from FAO having the floor. Sitting Lennart Ackzell, IFFA, and Carina Anderson, SCC

The seminar was a sum-up seminar of the project “Strengthening Smallholder Forest Producers in Kenya”. The project was inspired by The International Family Forestry Alliance, IFFA, and the Growing Forest Partnership. SIDA, the Swedish development organisation, financed the project which was executed by the Federation of Swedish Family Forest Owners and the Swedish Cooperative Centre, SCC. The seminar was co-financed by the National Forest Program Facility in FAO.

Lennart Ackzell presenting and sitting (from left) Carina Andersson, SCC,  David Mbugua Dir Kenya Forest Service, George Onyango, SCC.

In the seminar presentations and group discussions summed up and extracted lessons learned from the project. The seminar had a good participation from local forest growers associations, staff including the Director for Kenya Forest Service, World Bank, FAO, Africa Forest Forum, Embassies and Non-Governmental organisations.

It was obvious that the project reflect a need for smallholders to strengthen their cooperation and to be able to handle the market. The need to cooperate in policy developments and close identified gaps between policy wishes of farm forestry and administrative realities. The seminar identified as well as the "dissemination gap" where experience from one group don't reach other emerging groups.

The seminar clearly suggested that one way forward was to establish a "national committee" to deal with policy issues. The “national committee” should consisting of representatives from the more advanced existing associations, from Kisumo region, Western Kenya, the Highlands, the Semi dry area and the Costal region.

This project is part of an IFFA initiative. Beside this project in Kenya, the Finnish Family Forestry Federation MTK has projects in Ethiopia and Vietnam.

Group photo of seminar participants

(All photos Cecilia Abrahamsson, Swedish Cooperative Centre)