Davis Gathumbi

Davis is a passionate and driven agri-entrepreneur with significant experience in the agriculture and horticulture industry. Davis started his career in Information and Technology (IT), but soon after discovered a new passion for agribusiness.

His entrepreneurial spirit and vision for seeing an empowered youth and women in Kenya led to him setting up Afrifresh – a thriving youth-led business-to-business fresh produce company that grows, aggregates and supplies fresh produce from medium and small-scale farmers in Africa to global markets in Europe and Asia.

Davis has a keen interest in expanding his knowledge in sustainable agriculture, agronomy, and crop science; leveraging skills in research, analysis, quality control, and agricultural management and has previously worked as an Agri-projects Manager, Agri-consultant and Agribusiness Strategist. His passion has led him to mentor, empower, and facilitate training for farmers and aspiring farmers especially in rural/suburban areas. As a transformational leader, he has successfully built teams, companies and created shareholder value.

Outside working in the agri-world, Davis enjoys motoring events, running, listening to electronic dance music, afro house music and travelling.

Margaret Mimoh

Margaret K. Mimoh is a woman entrepreneur, highly experienced in beekeeping, honey processing, value addition of honey, dried fruits and vegetables, training small scale producer organizations in enterprise development and marketing with over 20 years’ of experience in the private sector perspective.

Mimoh was involved extensively in the management and coordination of beekeeping development initiatives in a number of countries across East Africa through Honeycare Africa Ltd for 20 years where she gained a wide knowledge and understanding of small holder enterprises for economic strengthening.

She has been involved in reviewing the Kenya Honey Standard through the Kenya Bureau of Standards. She has gained extensive knowledge in development, designing and implementation of profitable community initiative across the region.

She has undertaken various business supplies and consultancies across the region, she is from a management background and is result oriented. She has gained a wide knowledge in training small farmer organizations in business development and marketing. She is conversant with resource mobilization, markets and organizational development approaches for small farmer organization from a private sector perspective.She holds a bachelor degree in Business Development Studies -Entrepreneurship Option from The Management University of Africa.

Benard Ochieng

Benard started his career as a trainer of accounting and auditing before joining Smallholder Irrigation Scheme Development Organization (SISDO) where he worked with smallholder farmers and businessmen and women in the outskirts of Nairobi, helping with business development and financing programmes. After studying Co-operative Management from Co-operative University of Kenya, his passion for co-operative movement continued when he joined Tembo Sacco Ltd as an accountant and was also involved in product development and project management. He has also worked in the software and impact investment industries, most recently with Volta Capital, a UK impact investment advisory firm, mainly focusing on education, health and sustainable agribusiness.

He is a Certified Sage X3 Financial Consultant, a Certified Credit Professional and a Certified Public Accountant of Kenya. Benard also holds a degree in Finance and Banking from Moi University and is a registered member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK).

After visiting the East African countries and 45 of the 47 counties in his home country, Kenya, Benard’s thirst for adventure is not yet quenched as he plans to next visit South East Asia and Latin America.

Rosario Salas

Rosario Salas is Q Grader and in charge of quality in Huadquiña producer organisation in Cusco, Peru. After finishing school, she studied food industries in Universidad Nacional Agraria de la Selva. Then, Huadquiña producer organisation supported her to obtain her Q grader certificate and hired her to supervise coffee quality for exportation. Rosario’s case is a good example of how young people can be engaged in agriculture in their communities by the creation of challenging jobs.

“I am happy that the Huadquiña cooperative has given me the opportunity to work and now I am contributing to the development of my community in Santa Teresa, Cusco” 

 

For more information about Rosario and how our work is contributing to the challenges of youth employment in Peru, please read this blog article here.

Niwahereza Abias

Niwahereza Abias is  youth sales agent from the Youth Innovation Hub, Kayonza Growers Tea Factory Centre of Excellence. He initially worked as a youth agent in data collection, working with the promoter farmers to collect information in support of our farmer-led data system. Now he is acting as a sales agent earning a commission on the weekly sales of produce’ collected from farmers across the region.

“This has helped me in so many ways as I have been able to increase my income; with this commission I was able to start my own piggery farm that is growing to a bigger project.”

Niwahereza has also been able to gain experience in identifying market opportunities and learning how to negotiate prices to the satisfaction of all parties.  Furthermore, his experience working directly with farmers has allowed him to acquire new farming skills and techniques from experienced farmers that have help him improve his farming practices.

“My work as a youth agent  has inspired me to invest in farming as a business and I’ve also created a strong network with farmers and different organizations that I supply the produce to, hence trust, recognition, convenience, and transparency is ensured.”

Stanley Masinde

Hi, I’m Stanley. I’m a software engineer living in Nairobi, Kenya. I am a fan of technology, IT, and web development. I’m also interested in Farming and Agribusiness.
I have great passion in using tech to improve agriculture by providing farmers with access to data they need to make day to day  decisions.

PETER KIBET BUSIENEI

Peter has a 3 acre tea farm at at Sireet-OEP in Nandi Hills, Kenya. As part of the Centre of Excellence Peter has been supported to diversify his income by introducing new crops and establishing them as additional enterprises on his farm.

Training: Initially, Peter was supported to access training and information services to establish tissue-culture banana and beekeeping enterprises on his farm.

Finance: In 2018, Peter received a $1,300 loan from the ROTA fund to purchase the inputs and launch his banana and honey enterprises.

Data: Peter has been collecting records and has a weather station on his farm, enabling him to correlate productivity, weather and income data.

Market Access: Youth coordinators have helped to create links to local markets, and they transport and sell Peter’s bananas and honey for him.

Peter has now been able to pay back his entire ROTA fund loan and his honey and banana enterprises have increased his overall income by 62%. With the new co-branded products being launched in 2019, Peter hopes to invest in additional beehives and sell even more honey.

Agaba Keneth

Keneth holds a Diploma in Business Administration from YMCA University Kampala. He is passionate about agriculture and modernising the industry, and he focuses on fish farming, beekeeping, piggery, and urban farming. As a young farmer interested in business, Keneth dedicates his time to training young people and researching innovative approaches. His projects not only serve as profitable ventures but also as incubation centers, motivating young individuals to join agribusiness and create new job opportunities. Overall, Keneth’s blend of education and hands-on experience positions him as a leader in promoting sustainable and innovative practices in agriculture.

Amon Natushemba

Amon, raised in a smallholder coffee farming community in western Uganda, holds a diploma in electrical engineering. Previously managing construction sites, he transitioned to join the Producers Direct family. Currently serving as the ACPCU CoE manager, Amon is dedicated to achieving all Center of Excellence activities. In his free time, he volunteers as an internal control committee member at his primary cooperative. Amon values teamwork and enjoys humor, reflecting a well-rounded and community-oriented approach to his work and personal life.

 

Carolyne Mutai

Born and raised in the highlands of the rift valley, she developed interest in farming since her parents are farmers. Carolyne has graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics and Resource Management. She also has a Certificate in Project Planning and Management.

In her role as a youth project coordinator, she has worked closely with Producers Direct Coordinators in the development and implementation of Youth hubs. She believes that youth have a great potential in agricultural practices if equipped with the right technological advancements. Through adequate trainings and data a lot can be achieved to propel the youth objective to be a global network.

Aside from having a passion in photography, Carolyne loves to read books of  vast genres.

 

Talía Lostaunau

Talia was born and lives in Lima. She studied Forest Engineering at Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina. At that time, she was passionate about Peru, its people, and its natural resources. By the time she finished her pre-graduate studies, she developed an interpretive plan for a Private Conservation Area in the north of Peru as her thesis work. Since then, Talia has worked on developing participatory projects related to conservation, ecotourism, forestry, and agriculture.

After having travelled throughout all the regions in Peru investigating and documenting different sustainable business models led by communities, she became part of Producers Direct in 2018 to support the fundraising team. She knows that she lives in a country full of opportunities, especially in rural areas, and loves to be part of its sustainable development.

Talia collects places. She dreams of visiting the 76 Natural Protected Areas in Peru (she has already been to 30).

Sarah Mackay

Sarah lives in the UK, and after studying a Masters in International Development at Leeds University, has worked for a number of different charities as a fundraiser. These include a charity helping women offenders (TWP), University College London and Sands (stillbirth and neonatal death charity). She went on an adventure to Peru in 2012 to pilot an amazing idea called Wefarm, and was there when farmers from Kenya connected with farmers from Peru for the first time. She started working for Wefarm in 2016 in a grants and partnerships role, and has now come full circle to support Producers Direct raise critical funding and strengthen strategic partnerships.

NIMROD WAMBETTE

Nimrod was appointed to the board in June 2011. He is from the slopes of Mt Elgon in Uganda. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Nimrod brings over 35 years of experience in leading cooperatives in East Africa and has extensive experience working with and leading Fairtrade farming cooperatives. As well as the Board Chair for CPF, Nimrod is also the Vice Chair of the Fair Trade Africa Board. Nimrod has a wide range of interests, including: farming, reading books (especially classics by Robert Greene) and listening to Congo Rhumba music.

Anthony Wainaina

As Managing Director of Sidai, a social enterprise operating in the livestock sector in Kenya, Anthony has good knowledge of smallholder farmers and the challenges they face, as well as business development in East Africa.

Christele Delbe

Based in London, Christele brings a great depth of experience in sustainability and supply chains. Now an independent consultant she has, amongst other roles, previously worked as Head of Sustainable Innovation for the Vodafone Group.

Eunice Prudencio Sotelo

Eunice lives and was born in Cusco. She has trained as an Anthropologist at the San Antonio National University in Cusco and has a masters degree in Gender Studies from the Pontifical Catholic University in Lima. She has worked as an Assistant Lecturer in the faculty of Anthropology, as an assistant in the educational resources programme with communities, teachers, students and parents with Mine Xtrata – Las Bambas in Apurimac and, in 2015, at the International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society – IASSCS, to develop the activities and logistics of the conference program in Dublin, Ireland. All this experience has sought to build her knowledge on rural communities, social and cultural diversity and the gender gaps.

Since joining Producers Direct, her work has been focussed on developing the different aspects of the INSPIRE project in Peru. Concentrating on forming relationships through constant communication with the producer organisations, inclusion of women and young people, and the quality of life, and the recognition of the small producers’ initiatives in Peru.

Eunice is very interested in popular-traditional music, as an expression of cultures, identities and gender.

Anncate Ndwiga

Anncate’s passion in finance and accounts has helped in creating solutions for companies and farmers, especially in helping them understand their finances ,record keeping and decision making. Anncate is currently pursuing a Certified Investment and Finance Analyst (CIFA) professional accreditation and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA K), registered with ICPAK (Institute of Certified Public Accountants Kenya). She holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance and Banking) Degree. She has extensive experience in accounting of over 7 years where she has worked in the Fresh Vegetables and Fruits Export industry in Kenya, with markets in the EU and the Middle East while supporting smallholder farmers as producers. She has also worked in an Architectural firm dealing in architectural design, planning and consultation. Her experience has given her a wealth of knowledge in finance analysis, problem solving, attention to detail, conformity to accepted financial and accounting guidelines and ability to make well thought out decisions.

Anncate loves cooking and travelling. Recently she has developed interest in yoga and cycling as a way of relaxing

Trilce Oblitas

Trilce’s passion for challenging the paradigms of development and deep interest to understand the realities of rural, underprivileged and neglected communities in Peru, Latin America and globally has been a priority in her life and career.

Trilce joined Producers Direct in 2015 when she returned to her native Peru after studying and living abroad for 8 years. Her academic training in Development, Sociology and Politics, by Utrecht and Leiden University respectively, grounded her in the social sciences and enabled her to experience work, research and field work in Southern Kenya and in Peru (2012-2014) with a multidisciplinary approach fueled with a critical-thinking that she identifies as key. Trilce has lead the implementation of our model in Peru for the last 8 years and is eager to dive into a more strategy-based role with a key focus on scaling our programs across Latin America.

As a proud feminist, political activist, and a committed Cooperativista, Trilce is sure that sustainability in a changing world is achieved by putting the voice of the smallholder farmers we work with at the center of everything we do.

Sam Webb

Whilst studying for an MA in Conflict Resolution at the University of Bradford, Sam became interested in issues surrounding international and community development.  Working with an education and community development NGO based in Trujillo, Peru he ran a variety of workshops and programmes – including a photography programme with a  group of secondary students, helping them to explore their community, and communicate their stories to the outside world. He has also volunteered as a community mediator, and worked with education, refugee and community support organisations.

Since joining Producers Direct in 2015, Sam has worked on leading communications of the organisation. More recently he has used his experience of community-led and participatory projects to work on the development of a farmer-led data system to support smallholders across our network.

Outside of work Sam enjoys drumming, running and cooking.

Katie Messick Maddox

Katie joined the Producers Direct team in 2014 after relocating from Nicaragua to London with her family. Her passion for working with ambitious organizations was sparked over 15 years ago while advocating for the rights, voices and visions of indigenous peoples at Cultural Survival. From this foundation, Katie led youth leadership programmes with the YMCA and Peace Corps Paraguay, before pursuing a Masters in International Development Policy at Duke University. Katie worked with Save the Children US and Restless Development Uganda before returning to Latin America as the Nicaragua Country Director and later the Director of Operations for Manna Project International. Katie led Producers Direct’s Fundraising and Partnerships for 6 years before stepping into the COO role.

When Katie isn’t at work, you’ll find her chasing around her 2 young boys and trying to enjoy a hot cup of coffee.

Claire Rhodes

A biologist by training, Claire’s early career involved counting Costa Rican caterpillars and other environmental conservation efforts, before realizing much of the earth’s biodiversity is managed by smallholder farmers and there is a lot to learn from them.

Claire joined Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation in 2009, attracted by the goal to be an organization led by smallholder farmers for smallholder farmers.  Before joining Producers Direct, Claire worked with a number of organizations to promote the expertise and leadership of smallholder farmers and grassroots communities. This included seven years with the US-based non-profit Ecoagriculture Partners, and work with the United Nations Development Programme, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the UK Department for International Development.

As well as being passionate about making Producers Direct’s model work for smallholder farmers, Claire has a deep personal interest in the long-term sustainability of the world’s coffee supply. “Sin café, no hay mañana”