I hope you are all keeping well and safe during this time of great uncertainty.
As we all try to adopt to the new normal necessitated by COVID – 19 pandemic, MESPT fraternity is practicing the laid down precautions to contribute towards flattening the pandemic curve. Currently, our team is working remotely and are available on phone, email and through virtual meetings. We are trying to advance our mission as we figure out the best way to enhance our business continuity.
The Covid 19 has forced us into a challenging new reality, but we remain optimistic that we will rise above it. The season has brought about a serious disruption. Things are changing quickly, including varying some activities that we had planned to accomplish this year. We are rethinking and reprogramming our business model to mitigate the impact created by the pandemic. While it is now apparent that this situation may take us more months than anticipated to get back to normalcy or to adopt to the new normal, the Trust has embarked on building resilience of the small holder farmers and financial intermediaries to respond, recover and thrive past the corona virus crisis.
Our response and mitigation programme for COVID -19 to ease the struggles of our partners amidst the devastating impact of include:
1. Engaging financial intermediaries’ partners to offer structured support to enhance their businesses recovery in line with the call of the National Government in respect to moratorium and extension of loan tenors.
2. Equipping targeted farmers groups with the requisite personal protective equipment (PPEs) to ensure intended programme activities as well as essential farmers’ collective activities can progress while observing laid down government guidelines.
3. Value addition support to targeted producer organizations aimed at the shelf life of products as they await normal opening of fresh produce markets.
4. Financial support to targeted farmers on farm inputs and other relevant facilities cushioning them from the prevailing economic pressure ensuring continuity in their enterprises while also diversifying to emerging farming business opportunities.
5. Support to partnering SMEs (buyers/ farm produce off-takers) in the upkeep of their agronomists working with farmers to ensure continued support to farmers while also easing economic pressure on the SMEs buying from the targeted farmers.
6. Support to partnering SMEs to ease part of the losses incurred because of defaults by farmers on seed inputs advanced to them.
7. Supporting fees to facilitate virtual engagements with stakeholders through the tele media and other appropriate platforms
8. Support to green technology service providers to ensure continued supply/ support to farmers on diverse climate friendly technologies and solutions.
9. Facilitating the necessary travel approvals for various private sector partners such as buyers and service providers working with MESPT targeted small holder farmers to ensure continuous support.
10. Distribution of hand washing units to 150 aggregation centers in Embu, Meru, Kirinyaga, Makueni, Taita Taveta, Kajiado, Nakuru, Nyandarua and Kilifi counties to boost the safety of smallholder farmers during this period and beyond. This is geared towards promotion of personal and food safety.
11. Distribution of food stuff and other essential items to 7 vulnerable students’ families under MESPT Secondary school sponsorship program.
I encourage us to keep safe and adhere to the government precautionary guidelines of combating the pandemic. Without a doubt, we shall overcome!
Learn more about coronavirus (COVID-19) at www.health.go.ke