TRAINING TO PROGRESS IN AFRICA (ToP-Africa)
In line with its objective of value chains development, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) aims to contribute to commodity sector stakeholders having a better understanding of issues related to developing efficient and profitable domestic and regional markets and agribusinesses. To facilitate the achievement of this aim, the CTA commissioned a project to develop training materials that can be used to upgrade value chain and agribusiness skills in the ACP countries.
Adaptation to modern value chains is constrained by skill gaps. Such gaps can, in part, be addressed through capacity building but, to date, there is limited training material available to farmers, service providers, companies and students on value chains, agribusiness and related topics. What is available has often been prepared for one country or one project in one country and may not be relevant to others. Moreover, there is relatively little generic material available that can be used in one region or, indeed, throughout the world or that can serve as a basis for adaptation to suit local circumstances.
Traditional government extension services have tended to pay little attention to what happens to a product after it is harvested but agricultural extension now has to take on a new role of focussing on the entire value chain. In addition to its conventional one of promoting production, there is need to facilitate the development of farm business management, improve post-harvest handling techniques, and facilitate marketing through improved market-linkage approaches.
A proposal by Kilimo Trust to develop Training of Trainers’ manual for private and public extension officers, business development service providers and other mandated institutions has been funded. The project will take 8 months between November, 2014 and June, 2015.
The specific objectives are to develop:
1.A module that addresses the dynamics of market analysis with an aim to focus agricultural value chains to produce commercially.
2.A module that address the dynamics of developing sustainable agribusiness linkages with an aim to structure trade in food.
The development of the manual will take a triangulated approach to ensure comprehensiveness in the final content. The specific method adopted will involve:
- Undertaking extensively literature review to clearly understand what others have done regarding the two areas of interest and to avoid unnecessary repetition or duplication of effort.
- Organizing for Kilimo Trust staff based focus group discussion to harness the rich individuals’ tacit knowledge from their experience in the field. Such tacit experience will be used to fill any initial gaps from literature as well as validate some of the initial findings.
- Interviewing experts in the two areas of the manual as well as meeting other groups of practitioners to identify further areas that can add value to the existing knowledge.
- Validating the draft manual by experts and practitioners from different countries and testing it with representatives of different target groups.
- Addressing comments as well as incorporating any insights from the client after which the manual will be submitted to a senior expert for editing before final submission to the client.
Induction The contents of the manual will be put into use immediately for its submission will coincide with the launch of Kilimo Biashara Training Programme. Different stakeholders will be brought together to learn from the great experience that will have been gathered in the manual in addition to enriching it further. This will be the first step towards inducting a critical mass of trainers in understanding the manual to enable them train value chain actors who are the final beneficiaries.