Training of Trainers on Value Chain Development

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A three-day training of trainers workshop was conducted at the Agriculture Development Bank Hall, Rupandehi district in Nepal by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and Kisankalagi Unnat Biu-Bijan Karyakram - Improved Seed for Farmers Programme (KUBK-ISFP) for KUBK-ISFP staff and AdaptHimal partners. The training was extended under the technical support from ICIMOD to AdaptHimal (Enhancing Adaptation Capacity and Resilience of the Poor to Climate and Socioeconomic Changes) partners.

Resource persons from ICIMOD introduced participants to the various aspects of the value chain development process. Using a modular approach, facilitators undertook a mix of lectures, role playing games and field visits, to make the workshop an engaging experience. 

Inaugurating the workshop, Laxman Paudel, Program Manager with KUBK-ISFP, Nepal noted the need for such trainings and outlined reasons for KUBK for organising the training. Anu Joshi Shrestha, Value Chain and Enterprise Development Specialist, highlighted the objectives of the training and introduced the major foci in value chain approach. She also provided an overview of the concept of value chain approach and how ICIMOD sees value chain development. 

A session dedicated to mapping and analysis, facilitated by Sichan Shrestha and Anu Joshi Shrestha, focused on horizontal and vertical linkages, governance in value chains, roles and functions of each actor in the chain. The session discussed the roles and functions of meso-level partners – nongovernmental organisations and service providers, as well as micro-level actors – government. During group work, participants dissected each role and developed a simple yet informative value chain map indicating volume, value, demand, supply, value addition at each level/node, and relationships between actors. In order to identify leverage points in the value chain, participants also undertook a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis for each node and used a ranking method to list major constraints where the project can make possible interventions. 

A field visit and interaction programme with various actors in the value chain of a dairy farm - milk producer, processor and retailer - proved useful to bring out actors’ perspectives. Interestingly, the producers elicited an interest in upgrading their function to processors so that they could secure more benefits. On the contrary, the processors confided an interest in production as well, and stated that producing was easier compared to selling the product, given fierce market competitions and the recent fuel shortages.

A guest presentation by Lumbini seeds contextualised the role of the private sector in uplifting the sector. The participants also worked on a business plan template to understand value addition at each level. By presenting their learnings from the lectures and group-work, in the plenary sessions, they also underwent facilitation skills training as a learning by doing exercise. This would be a crucial element during engagement across multi-stakeholder platforms. 

A key take away message that participants found very useful, was using profit as a motivation while making interventions. Participants understood the focus of value chains is to increase bargaining power, strengthen provisioning services, and underpin exploration of bigger and better markets for existing products, and not just add value to the product without proper analysis.