Topical and properly developed, new strategic plan will enhance agriculture productivity and food safety, empower small holder farmers, financial institutions as well as micro, small and medium enterprises to flourish while safeguarding the environment
Micro Enterprise Support Programme trust (MESPT) has launched its fourth strategic plan, covering the next five years (2021-2025). The organization developed its first strategic plan in 2005. In the same vein, the second and third strategic plans covered 2010- 2014 and 2015 – 2020 respectively.
Speaking during the launch of the fourth strategic plan, MESPT’S caretaker committee Chairman Mr. Noah Meely noted that the organization is on amission to provide sustainable business development and financial solutions tosmall holder farmers as well as agriculture based small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya. “Our goal is to maintain a hard-working spirit and exemplify ourselves as a performance – driven organization and in view of this, we will continue to uphold our values of excellence, integrity, innovation, inclusion and sustainability,” said Meely.
This strategic plan aims at achieving sustainable livelihoods and economic growth for SMEs, facilitating the creation of five thousand decent jobs, while at the same time increasing awareness, investments and adoption of green interventions. Additionally, it will increase agricultural productivity and food safety for seventy five thousand smallholder households countrywide. Moreover, it is expected to triple the programme’s niche in financial access and inclusion, besides facilitating the establishment and growth of one hundred agribusinesses that integrate small holder farmers in targeted value chains. Speaking at the same function, MESPT’s Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Amukhoye said that the strategic plan’s development was informed by the organization’s past milestones, achievements and lessons learnt, hence it is expected to be a game changer in the future direction of the organization. “The collective ambitions in this strategicplan have very rich inputs – an array of contributions and thoughts from our team ofprofessionals and industry experts,” said Amukhoye.
The development work will focus on four thematic areas. ”As enablers of development, we have identified four strategic areas that include : agri-enterprisedevelopment, access to finance, agricultural production and food safety as well as greentransformation as priority areas to inspire our work for the next five years,” noted Amukhoye.
The organization has chosen the cross cutting themes for growth to be inclusive and also equitable among community members. Itwill therefore make deliberate efforts to integrate women and the youth in all its development interventions. The programme plans to anchor gender equity at the core of its strategic objectives. All interventions are expected to increase women’s access and control to productive resources, in the process empowering them from the household to the community level.
MESPT is aiming at having women take up 40% of the beneficiaries from this programme, while the youth are expected to take up 30%. This will be achieved by identifying and flagging out business opportunities that the youth will be able to engage in. By so doing, it is expected to reduce the level of unemployment and increase household income and productivity within the targeted population.
As a developing economy, Kenya is fast integrating technology in agriculture which is now becoming a basic requirement for farmers, SMEs and financial institutions. In the next five years, MESPT will strive to integrate technology in its value chain development work. Additionally, the human rights based approach will be a key guiding principal. Moreover, the organization is planning to integrate PANT (participation, accountability, non-discrimination and transparency) principles in its interventions.
By and large, for the strategic plan to be fully implemented, it will depend on how well it is managed. It is in this regard that MESPT will implement a rigorous monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning system. The organization will institutionalize a data driven and evidence- based system and automate all its project management and MEAL processes. “This plan provides a critical developmental focus and a compass for our plans and actions”, said Amukhoye. “Itdemonstrates our commitment towards achieving a better tomorrow through alleviation ofpoverty, creation of decent jobs and promotion of economic development for our stakeholdersand communities,” she added. Through MESPT’s facilitative role, the organization promises to remain steadfast on changing lives and building a prosperous society.
Partnerships and impact
The strategic plan will be achieved through partnerships with a range of organizations and stakeholders from both the private and public sectors as vehicles for enabling MESPT to realize its vision and goals.In the last strategic period, MESPT was able to achieve key milestones. For instance, Kshs 6.2 billion was disbursed to financial institutions and SMEs, benefiting thirty six financial institutions. In the same vein, fifty five products were developed for thirty financial institutions that enabled three hundred and fifty thousand end users to access finance. This included small holder farmers who are engaged in various value chains.
Furthermore, six hundred youth led enterprises were supported under MESPT’s programmes, in addition to six thousand farmers who were certified in various food safety market standards. This means that the said farmers were able to access international markets, generating premium prices. In the same period, a total of Kshs 6.8 billion sales turnover was realized by the targeted small holder farmers, creating a total of seventy thousand job opportunities. Moreover, fifteen green technologies were promoted by MESPT across target regions, with more than three thousand smallholder farmers adopting the technologies for use. Twenty five counties are currently collaborating with MESPT.