The training, held on 8-10 September 2022, was officially opened by Dr. Wamalwa Kinyanjui, Animal Health Expert, ICPALD, who reiterated the importance of group structure and how it is essential for the cross-border communities to develop groups for business growth and improved livelihood.
ICPALD conducted the training to improve livestock keepers’ livelihood, improve animal health, and bring sustainable development to arid areas, through the group dynamics and business skills sessions. The trainees were selected chair leaders in the Karamoja and Mandera clusters. The objectives of the training were:
- To simplify group dynamics to the participants and educate them on the importance of working effectively in a group.
- To educate the participants on leadership and communication skills in a group setting.
- To equip training participants on managing conflict in group settings.
- To equip the participants with business management skills and basic book keeping knowledge.
The meeting included representatives from farmer organisations, grain millers, livestock cooperatives in the Karamoja and Mandera Clusters and ICPALD staff. The different clusters highlighted the need to improve group cooperatives in finding solutions to resolve conflict within the group, using business management skills to enhance their bargaining power when dealing with the local and international markets. Group work entailed practical examples that could be replicated in their businesses. Critical issues of discussions included:
- Conflict resolution in groups and cooperatives.
- Importance of being conversant in business management skills to improve business.
- Use different leadership styles to maintain harmony within groups and cooperatives.
- How clusters can increase livestock/grain productivity when the farmers/traders meet to find solutions for common issues affecting them.
- Dealing with personality traits of different members within the group to harness development.
- Need for precise record keeping and monitoring & evaluation in ensuring accountability and efficiency in the cooperatives.
- Coordination, collaboration, communication, accountability, transparency for group success, while implementing the group strategy.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The meeting concluded with a plenary session, where all participants agreed on the following:
- Promote the participation of pastoral communities in development planning.
- A collaborating structure for existing livestock breeding centres in different clusters.
- Improve on group cooperatives structure to function effectively and promote transparency and trust among the group members.
- Strengthen conflict resolution among members.
- Enhance resource mobilization.
- Broaden market linkages for group member’s products-livestock market information for domestic and international market database for IGAD clusters.
- Promote cultural events with bordering cluster communities, i.e., peace dialogues, tree planting
- Promote the establishment of feedlots.
ICPALD expresses appreciation to USAID for financing this activity.