Assessing training needs of micro producers in Kenya

6 June 2012
ITC News
ITC mission to Nairobi bids to improve micro producers’ business skills.

A mission to Nairobi, Kenya, was organized on 5-9 March 2012 to assess the training needs of micro producers participating in ITC’s 'Poor Communities and Trade Programme' (PCPT).

In-depth needs of micro producers were assessed in the areas of management, finance, as well as for domestic and export sales. The objective of the training being developed on the basis of this assessment is to enable micro producers to better manage their companies, sell their products on the domestic market and export their products through Ethical Fashion Africa Ltd (EFAL), a not-for-profit entity set up by ITC that manages business operations and the social agenda of the Ethical Fashion Initiative in East Africa.

The needs-assessment of the mission identified the competency and skill gaps for participating producer groups — of which a majority is comprised of women — to improve their business performance. Based on this assessment, a modular training programme is being developed to prepare trainers for transferring their competencies and skills to close the identified gaps.

The areas the interviewed participants expressed strongest interest in learning more about were export management, general business and financial management.

The assessment also revealed a significant “use-divide” with regards to information and communication technologies (ICTs). While most of the micro producers had mobile phones, few were aware of how to take advantage of these in order to enhance their businesses, access markets or lower transaction costs. An awareness programme on use of ICTs is also being investigated.