SEMIs held its 6th International training on Seed Business Management Course from 13th– 18th July, 2015 with the main aim of exposing participants to knowledge of sound business practices to enable them build healthy and sustainable seed enterprises. The course was attended by 30 senior level management personnel from different seed companies representing 13 African countries. The countries represented in the training included Burkina Faso, Congo DRC, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Ghana.
The main co-coordinators of the training were Prof. Evans Aosa from School of Business and Prof. Florence Olubayo from CAVS. Other facilitators who presented on the course were Aline O’connor Funk, Dr. V. Machuki, Dr. Henrick Ondigo, Dr. Peterson Magutu, Ann Omamo and Dan chirchir.
At the start of the training, participants laid their expectations for the course which varied from acquiring skills to manage financial risks, gain skills on resource mobilization and know how to manage competition in seed business industry. While opening the training, Prof. F. Olubayo remarked that the course focused on equipping participants with strong business management skills, human resource management and financial management skills.
The training majorly comprised of lectures and group interactions however participants also visited an emerging seed company, Dryland Seed Company in Machakos for hands-on experience. On lecture sessions, Prof. E. Aosa challenged the Seed company owners and CEO’s present to raise their companies from national status to international standards. He further urged participants to be great strategists in business as where there is no vision, businesses perish. Guest Speaker for the course, Mr. Azaria Soi, General Manager, SimLaw Seeds narrated his story with Simlaw Seeds which captivated participants and informed them on how to manage seed enterprises. Prof. G. Wainaina, MD Vision 2030 similarly inspired the attendees on how to be successful in business and life in total.
Dr, Agnes Kalibata president of AGRA, created time to talk to participants on her visit to the SEMIs project. She noted that the participants coming from diverse regions in Africa acted as a pool of experience and expertise to solve food insecurity challenges facing Africa.
Visit to Dryland Seed Company in Machakos was an eye opener to attendees on how small seed businesses grow with right strategy and proper execution of the strategies.