Latia a hub of training and business support services for farmers

Farming in Kenya has taken a new twist as technology is advancing to enhance its efficiency. Commercialization of the sector has made many people to shift swiftly and embrace it just to make that extra coin to meet their tight budget.


Furthermore, in a Project for Kenyan land owners and investors who are mostly urban dwellers commonly referred to as ‘’Telephone farmers” it is being show cased that it is possible to turn unproductive farms into profitable enterprises.


It’s mid-morning as we drive along the Kitengela-Kajiado highway, a journey that is destined to come to a halt at the Latia Resource Center Limited some 1.5 kilometers on the Pipeline Road off Isinya town. The sight of lush green vegetation is in full view, fresh air, free of polluted molecules we inhale as we disembark from the vehicle; this is a total contrast to our common knowledge of Maasai land being hot and dry.


We are warmly received and ushered to the office where we meet James Wachihi, Latia Resource Center Agri-Business Solutions Manager and Grace Jayo, the company’s Communication Officer.


The Center derives its name Latia from the Maasai dialect which refers to‘‘good neighbor’’and was founded by Faraja Trust in 2007 to enhance capacity building in food production. Latia is a social enterprise that provides training and business support services to farmers, pastoralists as well as agribusinesses in Kenya and beyond.


“This institution was founded on the basis of equipping the youth with technical experience in farming so as to enhance their practical training as far as agriculture is concerned,” said Wachihi.

Moreover, it’s divided into three divisions namely, Agripreneurship Institute, Agri-Business Solutions, as well as, the Incubation Center which play symbiotic roles that meet the objectives of Latia and steer the company to greater heights.


Agripreneurship Institute offers trainings to farmers on how to execute agriculture as a viable business. The Apprenticeship program recruits youth who spend time practicing to improve skills and gain experience in production and management of farm enterprise operations. The cost of the Program is Kenya Shillings 100,000 and intakes are done twice per year as the course last up to 6 months. There also are shorter courses for farmers and agri-businesses.


On the other part, theAgri-business Solutions division, which is managed by Mr Wachihi offers consultancy services to the needs of small and medium enterprise (SME) farmer willing to invest and requires advice on how to set-up and operate her farm profitably.


“Good consultancy entails doing it practically, thus why if you look around you see us carrying out farming activities as well.’’ James averred.


The other division referred to as Incubation Center nurtures farmers ideas more so of the ‘telephone” farmers’. At a cost, the division provides inputs into a farmer’s idea and cultivates it into fruition. The Incubation Center includes the open field horticulture, greenhouse horticulture, dairy, piggery, fruit orchards, mushroom production and value-addition units that are model enterprises used to deliver trainings and demonstrate Agripreneurship.


Latia manages several on-going and completed projects, such as Growing Solutions Kenya (GSK) project, Agricultural Entrepreneurship Incubator Project (AEIP), Agripreneurs Incubation Program, Netherlands Initiative for Capacity Development in Higher Education(NICHE) Project, Development and Testing of Solar Irrigation Kit for Small Farmers, Poultry for Improved Income Generation and Household Food Security, Water Harvesting and Storage, Improving access to Practical Solar Lighting for Low Income Households, among others.


Read the full article in Hortfresh Journal May – June 2016 edition

Email: or call 0722956906 to get a copy

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