In Kenya, farmers are still not always considered as obvious dialogue partners. Decisions about farming and the agriculture sector as a whole are often made without their participation. KENAFF seeks to have farmers, especially farmer leaders, claim their place at the decision- making tables at all levels in Kenya.
The Farmers Advocacy Consultation Tool – FACT methodology, was developed by Agriterra to contribute to the improvement and success of farmers’ influence in front of decision-makers. FACT is the result of three decades of observing, systematizing, and applying a structured way of work for lobby and advocacy by farmers’ organizations.
In Kenya, farmers are still not always considered as obvious dialogue partners. Decisions about farming and the agriculture sector as a whole are often made without their participation. KENAFF seeks to have farmers, especially farmer leaders, claim their place at the decision-making tables at all levels in Kenya. KENAFF has a strong case to propose: the federation represents farmers. Her mandate is to voice all her members’ feelings, concerns, interests, and opinions from the grassroots (Ward and Sub-County), County level, and nationally.
But what if suddenly this negotiation and participation space that KENAFF earnestly seeks is granted?
FACT is a method of support for KENAFF and KENAFF leaders at all levels to build on the opinions of their farming membership. Negotiation partners will take a proposal more seriously if it has demonstrably been generated and backed by farmers in large numbers and has subsequently been developed into a coherent framework. In essence, KENAFF’s power and reach and her ability to influence agricultural policymaking and development in Kenya (for enhanced farmers’ incomes and livelihoods) is dependent on one thing: Members.
FACT Capacity Building Trajectory
In pursuit of fulfilling her mandate, KENAFF, with support from her strategic partners, organized a FACT Preparatory Workshop for selected County Association and Commodity Association leaders as well as selected staff members in July 2021. This is the first of a three-phase FACT capacity-building trajectory.
The trajectory involves Phase
- Phase 1: ‘preparatory workshop,’
- Phase 2: ‘learning by doing phase’ (piloting FACT methodology in practice),
- Phase 3: is a ‘lessons learnt workshop.’
The FACT Preparatory Workshop: equipped participants on the basics of general consultations and participatory research, carrying out in-depth consultations; provided participants with skills for synthesizing information into ‘winning smart proposals’; and equipped participants with knowledge of stakeholder analysis and power mapping to strategize how to approach the different types of stakeholders needed to lobby during a lobby & advocacy process.
At the end of the FACT capacity Building trajectory, the Federation expects all her work on policy preparation and lobbying at all levels to be enhanced by introducing fresh views on generating, structuring, and strategizing lobby and advocacy work. This is an opportunity the KENAFF membership, leadership, and management must embrace through focus and dedication to re-vitalize, transform, strengthen and grow the Federation.
As the other capacity-building programmes at KENAFF, FACT provides a watershed moment that must not be laid to waste: the current KENAFF leadership (the National Farmers Assembly, the National Board, and KENAFF leaders at all levels) must seize the moment and commit to bequeath a strong, powerful and influential farmers’ organization at both county and national levels. By extension, this will lead to enhanced livelihoods and incomes for farmers and strengthen the voice of farmers at all levels.