Seven Pacific agricultural and agribusiness experts met with CTA (Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation) and PIFON (Pacific Island Farmers Organization and Network) representatives on 4 December 2018 in Nuku’alofa, Tonga to strategize the roll-out of value chain training activities and the development of a prototype for upgrading priority local food crops and fisheries value chains, starting in early 2019. The Pacific experts are committed to make a difference for thousands of farming communities across Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, the Marshall Islands and Kiribati. Capacity building, joint learning, collaboration, trust and partnerships are key to successful innovation in Pacific agri-food systems.
This activity is being conducted within the ‘Promoting Nutritious Food Systems in the Pacific Islands’ (short: Innov4AgPacific) project and is in line with CTAs, IFADs (International Fund for Agricultural Development) and PIFONs commitments to building capacity of Pacific producer groups and farmers’ organisations and to develop a prototype for an inclusive business model to enhance governance, strengthen collaboration and improve trust among value chain actors, particularly between producers – buyers, producer-government and producer-producer for upgrading priority ‘nutrition- sensitive’ local value chains.
The seven experts had participated in the three week intensive international training “Organised farmers as partners in agribusiness: Optimising the performance of producers organisations (OPPO)” (September 15th – October 5th 2018) implemented by the Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation (WCDI) in the Netherlands.
As ‘game changers’ in their organisations and countries the experts will operate under the following organizations: Nishi Trading (Tonga), Nature’s Way Cooperative (Fiji), Samoa Farmer Association, Fiji Crop and Livestock Council, Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development (MELAD, Kiribati) and Marshall Islands Organic Farmers Association (MIOFA) and Virgin Coconut Oil Producers Association (VCOPA, Solomon Islands). PIFON will provide support and coordination for the roll out of activities and WCDI will provide technical backstopping for:
- Nutrition-Sensitive Value Chain Mapping
- Development of a Prototype for an Inclusive Business Model
- Designing of a training course and the delivery of In-country Training
1.Nutrition-Sensitive Value Chain Mapping
The priority “nutrition sensitive” value chain mapping will include the analysis of farmers’ relationships with sourcing companies, banks, microfinance, input suppliers, research and extension and other suppliers and how different commodities and market situations have a certain potential for market and chain integration. Value chain analysis is important for farmers and cooperatives for market prospection; strategizing for market access; market power and bargaining; assessment of operational management capacities; collaborating and coordination of chain actors and involvement in policy development and advocacy.
The participants will be guided through a step by step approach on value chain development based on the course material. The process will consist of collecting data at field level and developing the value chain of a selected commodity. Action research tools will be provided to facilitate data collection as well as develop skills on value chain development but to also to enable sharing of what has been achieved so far with their organisation’s members as well as between implementers.
2.Development of a Prototype for an Inclusive Business Model
The “Business Model Canvas – Value propositions of farmers’ organisations” methodology together with the value chain analysis (under activity 1) will create the foundation for the development of the protoype for change. The Business Model Canvas will support creating a shared language for describing, visualising, assessing and upscaling business models. In close collaboration with PIFON, this activity will provide inputs for updating the current PIFON value chain guide.
3.Designing of a training course and the delivery of In-country Trainings
During the OPPO course the participants were introduced to the principles of adult learning. Building on the course learning, the participants will follow a process from design to implementation to deliver in-country trainings (e.g. including value chain analysis, rural entrepreneurship, business case development etc.) targeting the value chain actors in the priority value chains, taking into account local context and organisational/country specific needs.
Regional cross-learning & mini-OPPO workshop in Fiji
To share knowledge and finalize the training modules and protocol for upgrading priority value chains, PIFON, in collaboration with WCDI and the in-country experts, will host a regional cross-learning workshop in Fiji in the first quarter of 2019.
This workshop will aim at sharing the experience of the participants about their value chain analysis, inclusive business development process and the trainings they have implemented in the context of the project. The workshop will also create an environment enabling participants to receive feedback to upgrade the priority value chains and update their training modules for additional needs and recommendations. The workshop will be finalised with action plans in regard to value chain development and inclusive agri-business development.
Additionally, a mini-OPPO course will be re-created, which aims at enhancing participants to learn about the usage and implementation of different tools. The participants will be coached during the whole training but will take up most of the facilitating learning roles in relation to the content to be delivered. The training content will take into consideration the previously made training needs analysis as well as the content supporting the value chain analyses and developed business models needs.