Beatrice Nkatha is a social entrepreneur running the multi-million company “Sorghum Pioneer Agencies” (SPUR) trading in crop value chain through provision of farming input, ploughing services, linking farmers to markets, training farmers on agronomic practices, threshing services, promoting conservation agriculture and buying cereals from farmers. Beatrice doubles as a EUCORD partner implementing the project East Africa Sorghum Value Chain Development Project (EASVCDP) serving 7,500 farmers in Tharaka Nithti and Taita Taveta Counties. In 2009, she met EUCORD, initiating East Africa Sorghum Value Chain Development Project (EASVCDP) and was recruited as a partner. EUCORD linked her with input suppliers and financiers, who invested in the value chain by offering her input loans and finances respectively. In return, these curbed her operational capital challenges and helped her enhance her relationship with farmers by providing them with seed loans. In 2011, with EUCORD assistance, she recruited 1,400 farmers (more than 100% of 2010) and delivered 1450 MT of sorghum grain to EABL worth KES 44 Million (estimated 488,889 USD) She explained that EUCORD’s support was great because farmers tripled area under production. Their yields per unit area were doubled, as post-harvest losses were reduced significantly. Most farmers opted for using certified seed coupled with proper agronomic practices introduced by EUCORD.
As an entrepreneur with an ambition to expand her business and backed by EUCORD, Beatrice replicated the strategy in 2013 from Tharaka Nithi to Taita Taveta County, targeting 2,500 farmers and with plans to expand to other counties. EUCORD has helped Beatrice by successfully linking some of her farmer groups with a financier for farming loans, index based insurance and input suppliers. Through the Kenya Sorghum Value Chain Development Project, Beatrice now owns two tractors, a disc plough, a chisel plough and a thresher, which she uses to plough land and thresh sorghum for farmers respectively. She stands out to be one of the most successful social entrepreneurs in the sorghum value chain with up to 7,500 farmers organized in groups and 13 employees in her business. “Looking from my humble beginning of struggling with cereals trade with low growth 5 years ago, I am delighted to be associated with EUCORD for making me a successful entrepreneur and above all helping thousands of my community members through sorghum”, according to Beatrice.