Agriterra trained 14 strong willed female (future) leaders in the first ever ‘Female Leadership in Agricultural Cooperatives Masterclass’, held in Kenya. The group is composed of Zambian, Ugandese and Kenyan participants, representing organisations that are active in coffee, dairy, sunflower or credit and saving.
Main purpose of the masterclass is to strengthen the leadership skills of these women. These highly motivated cooperative leaders return full of energy and ambitions back to their respective cooperatives, better equipped to take up their leadership roles and make a change contributing to closing the gender gap in agricultural cooperatives.
Pamela Koskei is 51 years old and is a board member of the Baringo Agricultural Marketing Services Cooperative Union in Baringo County, situated in the Rift valley region of Kenya. In 2014, she was elected as a chairlady in her primary cooperative society ‘Langas Farmers’ Cooperative Society’. Later that year, she was elected as a board member in the union. “I am the first ever elected female chairperson in a Baringo County dairy cooperative”, Pamela proudly says. Pamela is a secretary by profession.
Pamela worked for the Kenyan Government for twelve years. In 2008, she quit her job to become a farmer. After several consultations with ministerial officers and visiting several farms, she challenged herself to improve her farm and was able to change her cross-breed cows that gave her 2 litres per day to grade cows that produce at least 15 litres per cow per day. In her community, Pamela is a lead farmer.
“We have an agreement that my husband must consult me on matters related to the farm and he does that because he respects me as the manager”
Pamela and her husband own more than 5 acres of land together, where they practice dairy farming, tree farming and horticultural farming. Although they own the farm together, Pamela is the manager of the farm. “We have an agreement that my husband must consult me on matters related to the farm and he does that because he respects me as the manager”, Pamela says.
Pamela has been a leader for over 20 years. She started her leadership journey in the church. In her community, she mentors young girls and helps them to mobilise government funds for projects. As a cooperative leader, she participated in several trainings that have helped her build her leadership skills, such as the Female leadership training organised by Agriterra in 2019. Thanks to her commitment to mentoring young girls and her dedication as a community leader, Pamela was appointed by BAMSCOS as the union’s coordinator of women as she is seen as an example to emulate. In this role she supports women of 19 primary cooperatives in setting up table banking. She also trains and mentors women in the union to take up leadership roles, not only in society but also in the union.