23 Aug 2017
Agribank established an Agri Advisory Services (AASD) Division for training and
mentorship of farmers, effective April 2017, in line with its five year strategic plan.
The direct objective of this division is to transfer skills and knowledge as well as
change attitudes towards farming in order to increase productivity and promote
business relationships between clients and the Bank. The ultimate objective is to
transform agricultural interventions into viable business enterprises. Further, the
services have a special focus of orienting farmers towards adopting appropriate
climate resilient strategies and agro-processing practices, and thus, ensuring
national food security and sustainable livelihoods.
The following services in support of up-scaling farmers’ productivity
capacities are offered under the AASD:
Opportunities will be presented to clients and non-clients to attend various platforms
for up-scaling their knowledge and skills-base. These platforms comprise of the
- Evening lectures: A complementary platform to keep farmers in urban areas
informed and equipped with farm management skills.
- Excursions: To expose identified clients and non-clients to best farming
practices, thereby enhancing their understanding of the commitment and
sacrifices one has to make to become productive and profitable.
- Farmers’ information days: to ensure information dissemination to as many
farmers as possible and used by industry role-players and farmers as platform
- On-farm research trials: to demonstrate and create awareness on various
appropriate farming practices to influence informed decision making.
- Farm mapping: to produce farm maps to aid farm planning and management.
- Topic-specific training events: provided over an extended period, between
two to five days to allow farmers to gain a deeper understanding and ability to
demonstrate skills, knowledge and attitude towards targeted aspects of
farming. Training packages may be arranged in conjunction with other
specialized agricultural training providers.
Identified clients will be offered a chance to receive mentorship free of charge but must be willing to sign a Mentorship and Training Agreement to demonstrate their commitment to farming productively. Such clients will be attached to a mentor based on the location or operational zone of the mentor so as to maintain regular contact for personalized advice and guidance based on the client’s needs.
Mentoring is based on commitment, and a mutual trust relationship between the mentor and the client (mentee) for it to be effective. This mentorship component uses two approaches when engaging the clients for intervention; one is the “individual client mentoring” (one-on-one) where there is personalized transfer of skills and knowledge between the mentor and the client, based on the client’s own needs and circumstances. The other approach is the “client group mentoring” where clients in the same farming area or in close proximity to each other, form a group to be mentored as one study group. This group approach promotes and enhances support networks, sharing experience, and exchange of skills and knowledge amongst clients.
To intensify and accelerate knowledge transfer, information on upcoming events, farming tips and material used for training purposes amongst others will be available on the Agribank website:
under the AASD link and a series of articles on best farming practices will be regularly published in local newspapers.
This article is compiled by Mrs. Elaine Smith, Manager Agri Advisory Services Division at Agribank.
Marketing and Communication DivisionFor enquiries, kindly contact the Marketing and Communication Division at:
Tel.: 061 2074332
Fax: 061 2074206