Value Chain Approach (VCA) is a powerful tool that helps the smallholder farmers to transform subsistence agriculture into business initiative. Frontline development workers – Technical Assistants and Field Officers – have the major role in facilitating and supporting the farmers in the field. In order to help the farmers to learn about the VCA and transform their agriculture into business, these workers need to have adequate knowledge and skills on VCA.
Dr. Ram Bahadur Rana and Mr. Nir Bahadur BK facilitating a session. Photo: Bibudh Dhewaju, LI-BIRD
With this aim, GrowInnova in collaboration with LI-BIRD organized a four-day training entitled ‘Short Course on Value Chain Approach: A Pathway for Economic Empowerment’, custom designed for the frontline development workers, from 29 April 2018 to 2 May 2018 in Pokhara. The training included participation of 17 frontline Field Officers and Assistants, in which eight were from LI-BIRD’s partner organizations [Social Service Centre (SoSeC) Nepal, Dailekh; Equality Development Centre (EDC), Doti; Malika Development Organization (MDO), Achham; and Machhapuchhre Development Organization (MDO), Pokhara], and nine were from various projects of LI-BIRD.
Participants had an opportunity to visit a private retail marketplace in Pokhara. Photo: Hem GC, LI-BIRD
The training offered a mix of theories and practical solutions such as sharing of field experiences and learning from the past two value chain projects which included Multi-Stakeholders Forestry Programme (MSFP) and Improving Livelihoods of Marginalized Communities (ILMC). The participants were also taken to Shree Complex, New Road, Pokhara – a famous private retail marketplace, and a government promoted wholesale marketplace of fruits and vegetables near bus park in Pokhara to acquire practical and useful information with regards to marketing and its storage facilities, where the participants had the opportunity to interact with both the retailers and wholesalers about the practicality of market supply, demand and price variability of agricultural commodities.
Group Photo. Photo: Bibudh Dhewaju, LI-BIRD
Upon completing the course, the participants presented the following experience of the training:
Udit Aryal, Programme Coordinator, Malika Development Organization (MDO), Accham,
“Our organization is in the first phase of working in Value Chain. We used to depend on the hired Consultant for all tasks while developing a business plan in our project. We now have learned this job doing ourselves and to have our say while working with the Consultant. I really liked the Market Promotion Concept of this course. So, I am very satisfied with this training. We also highly expect to get technical support from LI-BIRD for our Value Chain Project. ”
Babi Kumar BC, Board Member, Equality Development Centre (EDC) Nepal, Doti
“Value Chain Approach (VCA) is a newly developed approach and I was not familier about it. Through this four day training, I have learned a lot, however, this subject is quite vast. So, I would recommend the organizers to add few more days if possible. We will do our best in the field to implement the VCA successfully, and to bring our fruits and vegetables from Doti to Pokhara using this approach. ”
Padam Sapkota, Agriculture and Livestock Officer, SABAL Project, LI-BIRD
“This training has helped us to systematically plan and manage activities related to value chain. I have felt that this training has helped us to include the learnings at the field level in a more qualitative way.”
Shanti Jirel, Technical Assistant, LI-BIRD
“I had very little knowledge about value chain development and market management. I also had very little knowledge about the importance of insurance. Thanks to this training, I have learnt a lot about VCA, business plan, market plan, insurance and so on”.
Arjun Bahadur Shahi, Marketing Supervisor, Social Service Centre Nepal, Dailekh
“I have learned that there are several progressive steps to be followed for the implementation of Value Chain. I also learned about the importance of several service providers for successful implementation of value chain in the field. We, frontline employees, have a major role in facilitating intervention in the field. Only with our proper facilitation, a successful value chain can be implemented.”