Master Trainer Workshop2

Training Co-ordinator Evgenia Mahler reflects on the Take Charge of Your Life training by facilitator Nina Mapili with Divagri Master Trainers and farmers in South Africa and Ghana recently.

Through a series of interactive discussions and reflective exercises, participants in both countries explored the contrast between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset, learning how the latter can significantly enhance their approach to challenges in setting up their farming enterprises.

The need to overcome the fixed mindset was important when becoming agripreneur. It was necessary to highlight triggers such as new challenges or failures that provoke self-limiting beliefs in oneself. The training emphasized that the future is not a predetermined path but rather resulted from one’s choices and actions.

During the training, a guided visualization exercise helped participants imagine waking up in the future, picturing their environment, activities, and the societal context at 100 years old. This visualization aimed to personalize the abstract concept of the future, making it a tangible and actionable reality for each participant.

By envisioning daily activities and personal interactions in a future scenario, participants connected emotionally and practically to their long-term goals. Participants discussed how to construct their future systematically, starting with fundamental values and building upwards towards concrete goals and strategies to achieve them.

Action plans were highlighted as essential tools for navigating the path to these envisioned futures, requiring clear goal definition and periodic re-assessment. The importance of agility and adaptability was stressed, with life paths likely needing adjustments in response to changing circumstances and insights.

Furthermore, the workshop emphasized the critical role of stakeholders in one’s life, defining stakeholders as individuals, groups, or organizations that take an interest in, or can impact one’s actions. A significant focus was on the stakeholder mapping tool which categorizes stakeholders by their power and interest levels, aiding in strategic stakeholder management.

Practical examples highlighted managing stakeholders through regular communication, meeting their needs, and mitigating perceived risks to prevent negative impacts

Setting SMART goals was another key focus, ensuring that goals were specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, which aids in accurately measuring success and identifying areas for improvement.

The workshop also included comprehensive insights into strategizing, emphasizing the need for fact-based, creative and elastic thinking in formulating effective strategies (broad, long-term plans to achieve a specific goal), and the need to break these down into progression of short- and medium-term goals.

Participants learned to specify the steps they need to take to achieve their goals by preparing detailed action plans, which include assigning tasks, determining required resources, and setting timelines.

The workshop highlighted the importance of continuous improvement using the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle, underscoring the need for continuous assessment and adjustment of their processes based on real-time feedback and changing conditions.

Particularly for smaller businesses, which the participants represent, agility was stressed as a crucial advantage, enabling quicker adaptation to changes and opportunities compared to larger, less flexible organizations.

The training workshop significantly empowered the participants to act as multipliers of knowledge and catalysts for change within their farming communities. For example, the farmers from KwaNdaba shared their plan to disseminate the skills and knowledge acquired—particularly in SWOT analysis, record-keeping, and strategic planning. This proactive approach in sharing the new insights and coordinating with the Agricultural Research Council on implementing the DIVAGRI bio-based technologies demonstrates a potential shift towards more sustainable and profitable farming practices in the KwaNdaba community.

Master Trainer Workshop