SPARK IGNITE: Strawberry Value Chain Training
“Entrepreneurship is neither a science nor an art. It is a practice.” Peter Drucker
Being an entrepreneur in the strawberry sub-sector value chain is definitely a challenge, but it can be met successfully by practical training to strengthen the know-how of the overall actors in the chain with an added emphasis on the farmer’s ability to improve productivity, quality, size, and durability.
Historically, the strawberry farming agribusiness in Yemen has existed for 25 years. Individual Yemeni investors introduced the first strawberry seedlings in Yemen from Germany and Egypt. Since that time, the successes of strawberry growing encouraged farmers to replace Qat growing by strawberry but then again that existing sub- sector value chain has struggled with poor knowledge, weak supportive services and utilizing the traditional manual farming techniques with a limited use of machinery to plough soil.
Since one of the objectives of the Agri-Business Creation (ABC) Program in Yemen is to train the youth on farming techniques, SPARK has organized a training to support “entrepreneurs in strawberry farming”. This event was held in Sana’a, Yemen on December 25-26, 2013, at the Faculty of Agriculture, Sana’a University and brought together some 13 participants. The training’s goals were to transfer knowledge and best practices of growing strawberry suitable for Yemeni environment as well as making the youth more familiar with this relatively new business.
The sessions during the two days included theory and practical activities. The training addressed the challenges facing the farmers, provided a new method on farming techniques and post-harvest applications to improve the strawberry’s growing in Yemen as well as providing follow up procedures for those who have already initiated their projects.
Overall, SPARK Yemen in frame of the ABC program (Agri-Business Creation) is aiming to strengthen strawberry existing agribusiness by making them more capable of covering the current constraints and challenges in the strawberry sector; providing training, know how and credit facilities to introduce simple cultivation techniques and assurance of improved seedlings.
Written by Firas Deeb, SPARK Yemen Country Manager
SPARK IGNITE is SPARK’s blog of stories, updates and opinions by SPARK staff, on relevant topics in the news, stories from the fields, and what inspire us to do what we do. We welcome external contributions; to contribute please contact media[at]spark-online.org.