French Beans Value Chain Development; Muranga County

Vision: Making Murang’a County the preferred county for high quality and commercially competitive French beans products in the world.

Objective of Value Chain improvement
The main objective of the French Beans Action Plan is to ensure that the county becomes the preferred source for high quality and commercially competitive French beans products through sustainable quality improvement in the production and value addition of the beans.

Strategic Action Plan for French Beans Value Chain
The Strategic Action Plan for FB/SP Value Chain was a tool that plotted out far-reaching activities to be planned for and implemented for the next three years (2014 – 2017) specifically to address issues of FB value chain in Murang’a County. Effectively the VC actors and stakeholders needed to collaborate, learn through sharing experiences and adopting best practices to achieve the desired outputs in Strategic FB/SP Action Plan.

Specifically the Plan aimed to:

  • Strengthen institutional framework for then French Beans Value Chain operations.
  • Mainstream Gender and Social Inclusion in the French Beans Value Chain;
  • Develop capacity of the French Beans Value Chain actors and introduce appropriate new technologies for the VC.
  • Facilitate the development of PACK HOUSES for quality assurance measures through value adding.
  • Support the establishment of quality inputs supply mechanisms and a quality production monitoring system.

To achieve the mentioned targets some Key thematic areas of the French beans VC were identified as follows:
1. Quality Inputs and the quality control regulations
2. French Beans marketing groupings, regulations and market information
3. Farmers’ knowledge and skills in horticultural production(French beans)
4. Infrastructure challenges (Pack Houses and all weather roads).
5. Gender inclusion and participation particularly women and youth.

French Beans Value Chain –Murang’a Success Story

Previous status
a) Pesticide abuses and non – conformity to MRLs
b) Price stagnation despite increase in cost production
c) French beans marketing value chain actors were not well organized
d) Linkages between the value chain actors to markets were weak
e) Poor marketing information and market limitations
f) Pests and diseases
g) Infrastructure challenges (Poor access roads and lack of post-harvest handling and processing facilities)
h) High cost of attaining and maintaining accredited international export standards (I.e. Global GAP
i) Limited access to financial services

Current status
j) Farmers sensitized on MRLs and rejections over the same so far
k) Prices improved from KES 30 to 60 per kilo.
l) French beans marketing value chain organized into 45 group.
m) Linkages between the value chain actors to markets were strengthened – (Kieni Gathugu, Thikamu, Kamahuha,Kirimiri, Kenol horticulture farmers and Unasi farmers linked to Kenya Fresh Company for export market; Gakaki, Gacharu, and Githunguri linked to Meru green for canning industry).Other companies doing business in Murang’a are Everest, Frigoken, KHE, vegpro.
n) Linkges has brought in market information
o) Pests and diseases. Producers have been capacity built on pests and diseases through Global GAP
p) Infrastructure challenges (Poor access roads and lack of post-harvest handling and processing facilities). Access roads have been improved by the County government.
q) High cost of attaining and maintaining accredited international export standards (I.e. Global GAP). Producers have sensitized on Global GAP standards.
r) Actors have linked to financial institutions

Interventions and activities undertaken under ASDSP
a) 45 agro-producer groups, 3 Agro dealer, 3 marketers, 2 financiers identified and French bean VCP has been formed.
b) 33 Training of trainers (ToTs) trained on global GAP standards for 3 days.
c) Training of the 20 agro-producer groups on Global GAP reaching 746 members.
d) 15 TOTs trained as Internal Auditors/Inspectors to inspect and carry out internal audits on compliance by the groups.
e) Market survey was conducted and linkages established.
f) 4 days training of trainer’s workshop on Quality Management System and Record Keeping for Auditors and Inspectors.
g) The 19 trainees(14M:5W)were taken through a Global GAP version 5 QMS aimed at setting standards for all actors in the French Beans Value Chain and by extension all horticultural produce.
h) 10 French Beans Production Risks assessment carried out for producer groups.
i) 2 days Climate Smart Agriculture training
j) 21Value Chain Actors Business plans TOT Trained
k) 5 Days Sprayer Service Providers (SSP) Training for 19 youth.
l) 4 PSPs and Advisories done for French beans producers since 2013
m) Sensitization on Lobbying and Advocacy for 18 producer groups.
n) A benchmarking tour and sensitization meeting on collaboration between agro producers, financiers, Agro dealers and traders

Interventions and activities undertaken
County Government
1. Establishment of model Global gap infrastructure in Kieni Gathugu and Kimakia Ngaragu Irrigation Water Projects
These infrastructures include Grading Shade, Chemical store, Toilet, Bathroom, Fertilizer store among others. They are complete except the Charcoal cooler whose walls are yet to be filled with charcoal. Each of the implementing groups has a set of the structures.
2. Quality management Systems (QMS)
• A Consultant was engaged to spearhead rolling out and implementation of QMS. In addition, required sets of record were designed. Personnel who ensured the records are correct and updated were in place and trainings carried out as required. Keys areas that were trained included First Aid training by Kenya Red Cross, Safe use of pesticides and well as farm produce handling.
• Several analyses carried out in Accredited Laboratories and several recommendations received. Among include Soil, irrigation and drinking water analysis, manure and Chemical residue screening.

3. Harvesting and marketing.
The county produces about 30MT per week translating to 1560 MT annually generating about KES 100m for the County farmers. This is about 40% the County potential.

4. Global GAP Certification
This activity was conducted Oct 2014 in the 2 groups and our plan was to have all county producers certified to enhance access to international market.

5. French beans Input Program support
The County Government has invested over KES 69 m in the project of which about 20% is in seeds, fertilizers and Pesticides and the rest in enhancing marketing.

6. Establishment of Global gap infrastructure
These infrastructures include Grading Shade, Chemical store, Toilet, Bathroom, Fertilizer store among others. They are complete except the Charcoal cooler whose walls are yet to be filled with charcoal. Each of the implementing groups has a set of the following structures constructed by the County Government.