Farmer-to-Farmer program leads two FAPC-OSU members to volunteer in Africa
A faculty and staff member of Oklahoma State University’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center will travel to Africa to participate in a volunteer assignment with CFNA’s Farmer-to-Farmer program.
FAPC Communications Graduate Assistant
(Stillwater, Okla. – March 14, 2012) A faculty and staff member of Oklahoma State University’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center will travel to Africa to participate in a volunteer assignment with CFNA’s Farmer-to-Farmer program.
Dr. Tim Bowser, FAPC food process engineer and OSU biosystems and agricultural engineering associate professor, and Kyle Flynn, FAPC meat pilot plant manager, will travel to Nairobi, Kenya this month.
“Dr. Bowser and I look forward to the opportunity to help improve meat production practices and processing facility efficiencies in Kenya’s capital and largest city, Nairobi,” Flynn said. “This volunteer assignment will allow us to share our processing practices in the United States while developing an understanding of practices implemented in other countries.”
During the international volunteer assignment, the duo will provide support to the Kenya Meat Commission, a dominant revenue generator in the country.
“The Kenya Meat Commission is the single biggest and most modern licensed export abattoir in East, Central and Horn of Africa,” Bowser said. “Its vision is to be the preferred world-class meat and meat products processor.”
Action items of the volunteer trip include providing a detailed evaluation to the Kenya Meat Commission of the state of machinery and equipment determining killing floor, cold rooms, canning line and soup extract line efficiency; evaluation of the current maintenance program for improvements; and benchmark machinery and equipment to other established slaughter houses.
“The commission would like to increase its monthly revenue from Ksh 75 million ($862,069) to Ksh 137 million ($1,593,023) within the next year,” Bowser said. “In order to achieve these set targets for the commission, there is a need for development and implementation of a turn around strategy. In essence, the engineering department would like to work towards attaining 100 percent plant availability from the current 40 percent as it improves its productivity.”
The Kenya Meat Commission intends to use Bowser and Flynn’s recommendations from the machinery and equipment evaluation of two government ran facilities to bring current practices up to modern livestock slaughtering and meat processing standards.
“The mission is to procure livestock, process and market high quality meat and meat products at competitive prices using efficient, effective and environmentally friendly systems to the satisfaction of customers and other stakeholders,” Bowser said. “It’s our goal is to assist the Kenya Meat Commission achieve their mission.”
In 2011, Bowser also traveled to Tajikistan with CFNA’s Farmer-to-Farmer program, a private, not-for-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.
“CFNA’s long-term projects seek to develop private farmer associations, cooperatives, private agribusiness, women’s groups and other organizations that help farmers and agribusinesses increase their incomes and well-being,” Bowser said. “CNFA employs a value chain approach to agricultural development, seeking to strengthen all links in the market chain, from input supply and production to post-harvest handling and value addition to marketing and sales.”
Since 1993, more than 1,300 individuals have volunteered in CNFA’s Farmer-to-Farmer program. Funding for Bowser and Flynn’s assignment will be provided by the United States Agency for International Development.
- ### -
Oklahoma State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, State and Local Governments Cooperating. The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, or status as a veteran, and is an equal opportunity employer.