Sustainable and Inclusive Business in the agro sector
Agricultural sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Therefore, long-term stewardship of both natural and human resources is of equal importance to short-term economic gain. This enhances stewardship of human resources by considering social responsibilities such as working and living conditions of labourers, the needs of rural communities, and consumer health and safety both in the present and the future. Examples of sustainable and inclusive methods include green fertilizers, effective value chain, education, reduction of water usage and low pollution, soil care, recycling and usage of renewable energy.
Furthermore, a practice can start in becoming sustainable and inclusive by joining a knowledge platform where effective daily operational methods are provided for both the farmer and the society. This type of knowledge tool assists the practice by providing training methods such as train the trainer, toolkits, seminars and events that in turn encourages effective methods for land management.
For more good practice examples and insights - Kenya Agricultural and Agroindustry alliance
The Dairy sector
Only a minor fraction of Kenya’s milk production is exported mainly due to the fact that a number of trade conflicts arose by regional importing countries (Tanzania and Zambia) filling that Kenya’s raw milk faces insufficient quality and poor processing methods. SNV (2013) confirms this by stating that dairying in Kenya is domestically focused activity with a large information sector and only 18%-20% of the milk passing through formal market chains.
Sustainable and Inclusive Business in the Dairy sector
SIB aims to address this challenge by providing tools and awareness around this issue in order to strengthen the dairy sector by improving raw milk qualities, possibilities for export will arise, improvement in product shell life and production costs will decrease. In addition, an improvement in quality will inturn increase consumer’s food and safety policies that is currently a big issue faced by the dairy sector.
Challenges and SIB issues in Agro sector:
- A decrease in soil management can result to desertification, wind and water erosion that in turn can affect yield production.
- Misuse of water methods such as overuse and disposable systems is a major issue due to the scarcity on water availability.
- Spraying insecticides and fungal pathogens does affect society due to type of toxic ingredients that are combined into drinking water and loss of habitat by decreasing genetic diversity of wildlife. Thereby, this causes potential health hazards in contaminating water and food due to lack of knowledge on the adequate amount of chemical use in farming practices.
Needs of SIB in the Agro sector:
Reflecting on the factors mentioned above, it is vital to understand that unsustainable methods eventually results in global climate change that in turn affects resource availability due to misuse of good agro practices. This then proceeds in creating economical and social problems by agribusiness with manufacturing industries getting involved with processing and distributing farm products hinders farmer’s incomes and productivity. An inclusive value chain is necessary to solve this issue. Agro-ecosystems cannot be sustainable in the long run without the knowledge, technical competence, and skilled labour needed to manage them effectively mainly specified towards farmers. Given the constantly changing and locality-specific nature of agriculture, sustainability requires a diverse and adaptive knowledge base, utilizing both formal, experimental science and farmers' own on-the-ground local knowledge. Social institutions that promote education of both farmers and scientists, encourage innovation, and promote farmer-researcher partnerships can increase agricultural productivity as well as long-term sustainability.
Thereby, this confirms the need for a sustainable agriculture approach so that there is proper utilization of natural resources in order to regenerate production and minimize harmful impacts on ecosystems beyond a field's edge. This will lead to growing good Agro business.
Quick tips for the Dairy sector:
- Provide farm extension workers that will assist in support and instruction to farmers.
- Use of cooling tanks operators and transporters along the chain
- Enforcing upon ensuring that there are milk testers, facilities and equipment present for dairy producers and farmers to sell their products.
- Provide perfect customer information such as where the products is from, amount and type of ingredients.
- Ensure animal and labor welfare are incorporated.
- Use green energy.