Benefits of partnership with Agriterra


Geerte de Bruijne started her internship at Meru County Coffee Millers Cooperative Union (MCCMCU) in Kenya. Her assignment entails implementing new management structure. She wrote a blog about it.

As some of you may know, MCCMCU was founded in 2014 making it a relatively new organisation. However, due to the unique combination of a milling and a marketing license Agriterra has decided to take them up as a partner organisation. During that partnership Agriterra has already been able to contribute, for example in the mentioned member mobilisation activity but also in the guidance of a new project manager, who explained full enthusiasm how she is now able to organise new projects that will benefit the farmers
Getting down to business: starting my own workplan
However, other tasks have the potential to be professionalised a bit more. After my first week of ‘crash course – general’ the newly installed general manager and I have selected some focal points for my first month; Human Resource (HR) and general meeting structures.
Assisting the HR department
The HR department is run by an enthusiastic woman, who has agreed to take up this role next to her responsibility as liquorer. Even though she has no previous experience in the position of HR manager, she is very eager to learn. During my first month we will work closely together and together draw up job-descriptions and an HR policy. It is my aim to assist her to gain the knowledge and confidence to execute this function independently and also to feel confident enough to call for help from either the manager or Agriterra when extra support is needed.

Structuring meetings
As mentioned above the other focal point for my first month will be the structuring of meetings. Not that they are not structured right now, it is quite the contrary, but I did notice that efficiency could be gained if minutes and agreed upon actions discussed at meetings could be made more specific.
One step to improving this is the introduction in weekly Monday morning meetings. The objective of these meetings will be that everyone will keep each other up to date of their activities, how the activities relate to long term plans and how members could help each other when necessary. I have written a very basic set up which can be applied to all types of meetings. The most important point of this set-up is an action list, in which it is specified who has bound her/himself to which tasks. The next meeting this action list needs to be reviewed, so that pitfalls and obstacles can be traced as soon as they occur. I am curious how the instalment of weekly meetings and their structure will be picked up, and will keep you updated on the process.
Geerte de Bruijne, Meru, Kenya

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