NCPB on top of its game in ICT
By Ingu Danson
Since the advent of computerisation and resultant automation of business processes, the ease and efficiency of doing business has changed dramatically. When E-business was embraced, both local and international business practices were revolutionized.
The Board too has not been left behind in adopting this efficiency enhancing innovation. Board’s ICT initiatives are meant to derive a wide range of possibilities for improving its competitiveness. ICT should provide mechanisms for getting access to new market opportunities for business and other valuable specialized information services. It has further provided mediums through which the Board can exchange real-time information with its customers and suppliers. The Board is therefore refocusing its ICT strategies to provide effective and efficient support for its entire business processes using dynamic system(s) that are in tandem with the prevailing innovative technological changes.
The Board is implementing the E- subsidy Management System to increase efficiency in subsidized fertilizer distribution. The e-subsidy is a secure cloud based web and mobile enabled solution with the objective of improving the inputs delivery systems in Kenya. It is aimed at enabling smallholder farmers to access subsidized fertilizer effectively. This project was initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture in consultation with NCPB. It is at the pilot stage in some depots in Nairobi and Northern Region.
As we adopt and turn to e-commerce and e-business, new challenges that are unique to this field are encountered. Cyber security is becoming paramount in this day and age and as most financial transactions become online based. The Board has procured and installed a Cyberoam to protect the network against insider threats, malware, hackers, and other sophisticated network attacks.
As a way of dealing with fraud, NCPB is now paying its customers and suppliers via EFT.Customers on their part can pay for Board’s products by the use of mobile money transfer i.e. LipanaMpesawhich is a hassle free and secure system. In a nutshell, NCPB’s strategy of reaching its goal of optimal automation of all its business processes is to implement the following projects:
Upgrading of its website to web portal, rolling out of the E- subsidy Management System to other Regions, acquisition of new servers and expansion of its network, securing a disaster recovery and Business plan and upgrading of connection Links and servers together with more ICT equipment like Computers, laptops and printers.
Know the board’s policies and procedures
By Titus Maiyo
E very organization has policies that are used to run it. The Board too has its own policies that spell out how issues are to be handled and the direction to be taken as pertaining to certain actions. In essence, policies play an important role as tools for empowerment. They are used by management to transmit its guiding strategy and philosophy to employees. Policies help in simplifying decision making by guiding the decision and action of all employees be they managers or subordinates especially in strategy implementation. Policies are used in designing standard operating procedures which help in running the organization on day to day basis.
Policies serve the following purpose: They promote uniform handling of similar activities.This ensures that all tasks are coordinated thereby eliminating conflicts between employees and various units in an organization. As employees go about their work, certain routine problems occur. Policies will ensure that there are quicker decisions by standardizing answers to the routine problems. Consequently, the employees become empowered as they know what to do and how to do it. This increases efficiency and better service delivery. They also reduce uncertainty in day-to-day decision making by providing ready-made answers.
There may not be one way of handling managerial issues. However, policies establish consistent pattern of managerial actions. This means that there is some semblance of uniformity in the quality of decisions that managers make. Every organization plans changes in how it does its business and how to deal with certain emerging issues. More often than not, staff are bound to resist the change. Policies are then used to reduce the resistance and compel the employees to accept and adapt to the changes.
Policies improve job performance by establishing control over independent action and also help in understanding the business environment. It pays off if we can read and internalize policies of the Board. This will ease our work and improve our interaction with colleagues and the outside world. Policies prescribeto us how we do things and how not to do them.
The Board has a number of policies for example the Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Corporate Communication and Media, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Corruption Prevention, ICT, Research and Business Development, Health and Safety and the Human Resource Manual and among other policies. Some of the policies have been passed and are in use while others are still in draft form. The HR manual for example comprises a number of policies on employment, training and development, remuneration, conflict resolution, leave and termination of contract.
NCPB sponsors eye clinic in North Rift
By Ingu Danson
N CPB in conjuction with the Lions Sight First Eye Hospital organized one of a kind CSR activity in Eldoret on 10th December 2016.The Board and Lions held a free eye clinic at the Board’s Eldoret silos grounds that saw 430 people being checked and 16 people being referred to Nairobi for eye operations. The function was officiated by the NCPB Managing Director Mr. Newton Terer, Director Silas Magut, Lions Doctors, Marketing and Public relations Manager Ndwiga and Corporate Affairs Manager Rose Andanje. Other dignitaries present were Chairman Kenya Farmers Association KipkorirMenjo, KUFAO chairman Bunei, and Ag.NCPB North Rift Regional manager Daniel Kodonyo. While addressing farmers and those who had attended the clinic, Board’s Managing Director Director Mr. Newton Terer urged farmers to make use of NCPB stores adding that Board has enough capacity to absorb all their produce. He told them that the current maize prices being offered for maize were the best the government has given to farmers. He assured them that NCPB will continue with its CSR activities next year.
The Lions Sight First Eye Hospital is a charitable organization and a comprehensive eye care institution that is committed to delivering high quality and affordable treatment and care for patients. Among severe ailments that were checked by Lions Doctors include Cataract, which are most commonly due to aging and Keratoconus, a degenerative disorder of the eye which affects the cornea. Lions Marketing and Public Relations Manager Mr.Ndwiga explained that Cataract is mostly common due to aging but may also occur due to trauma or radiation exposure, could be be present from birth, or occurfollowing eye surgery for other problems. Risk factors include diabetes, smoking tobacco, prolonged exposure to sunlight, and alcohol. The Board is committed to CSR activities and other initiatives that benefit the society. It has won many awards in the best Government social functions stand in almost all the national shows. This has been possible mainly due to its many philanthropic activities like Environmental conservation, Talent development, Health, Educational support and comprehensive Employee assistance programs.