Smallholder Incomes & Food Security: Case Studies from Kenya & Honduras
Claire Starkey of Fintrac presented “Smallholder Incomes & Food Security: Case Studies from Kenya & Honduras.” This seminar was the 52nd installment of the Linking Small Firms to Competitiveness Strategies Breakfast Seminar Series sponsored by the USAID Microenterprise Development office. Starkey began the presentation by explaining that Fintrac facilitates the delivery of support to smallholders through a wide range of partners, with an emphasis on embedded services. She stressed that improving smallholder productivity is the most immediate way to improve food security because higher yields translate into more food, more income, and more purchasing power; and the simplest changes – without even equipment or infrastructure investment – can deliver big results. Starkey outlined Fintrac's VC + GAP methodology, which blends value chain analysis with good agricultural practices to deliver interventions for small-scale farmers and producer groups. She then discussed the importance of crop selection and diversification, and the great impact that the introduction of basic technologies can have on smallholder farmers. Starkey closed her presentation by sharing case studies from Kenya and Honduras, with particular focus on the type of support provided, the transformational results, and the lessons learned.
As president and co-founder of Fintrac Inc, Claire has provided strategic leadership to its global initiatives for two decades. She collaborates with staff and partners to ensure that income-generation, nutrition, gender mainstreaming, and local capacity-building activities are integrated into all field programs, with a results orientation that guarantees practical impact on farmers and farm families. She has worked with private and public sector clients in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and is a frequently invited speaker at international symposia on best practices in agricultural development. Prior to joining Fintrac, Claire designed and managed business development initiatives for commercial companies, international trade associations, NGOs and USAID.