The Latia Resource Center is a social business entity offering practical and entrepreneurial training courses for youth in horticulture and livestock enterprises. It also provides support and services to many small and medium sized farmers. A special focus is put on environmentally friendly technologies as well as on value addition and processing of agricultural products. To promote this, Latia offers short courses and consultancy services. Also, Latia is implementing larger development projects in the field of agribusiness and rural development.
The six-months technician training courses offered by the Latia Resource Center have been developed by the German development agency GIZ together with the Kenyan ministries for education and agriculture. They are unique in their emphasis on practical and entrepreneurial aspects. Our students spend up to 70 % of their time in the field doing actual farm work. With this piloting approach in East Africa, young people are equipped with the right skills set to join the job market after six months or - alternatively - to set up their own farm enterprise. Thereby, our students can chose between training in horticulture or livestock (various options like dairy, piggery, poultry). All these courses include a common module on entrepreneurship training.
In addition to this, the Latia Resource Center is offering a number of short courses. These are geared towards owners and workers of small and medium sized farm enterprises. For development organizations, Latia also implements larger projects in various areas of agribusiness and rural development. Such courses and projects include a special focus on the climatic conditions of arid and semi-arid areas such as Kajiado County, where Latia is located. Consequently, issues like sustainable water and energy use are key aspects of Latia´s work. Over the past years, Latia has implemented several projects in these areas with small farmers from the neighbouring community. Another central aspect of Latia’s programmes is value addition and processing of agricultural products.
Since its inception in October 2008, more than 300 youngsters have gone through the training programme of the Latia Resource Center and more than 1,000 small farmers have benefitted in one way or the other from Latia´s programmes.
Meanwhile, Latia has developed a reputation as a role model for practical and entrepreneurial training in the agribusiness sector in Kenya. With an ever growing network of partner organizations, Latia is now able to implement bigger and more ambitious projects. This includes for instance the further development of Latia into a centre for job-related training under an apprenticeship framework in a dual education system. In this set-up, apprentices working in commercial farms will be trained in relevant technical skills at Latia alongside their on-the-job training. This project is realized through the support of Dutch development aid funding and is expected to further accentuate the uniqueness of the Latia Resource Center across Africa.
For further information as well as current news about the Latia Resource Center, please check their website www.latiaresourcecenter.org.