Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands
Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands recently organised a Value Chain Workshop
Understanding the Agricultural Value Chains is still a relatively new concept in the Pacific.
Following a 2 Day Workshop in Honiara, Kokonut Pacific’s Maryjane Hou Kaikari says there is room for more training.
“Prior to the workshop a lot of our coconut oil producers didn’t see themselves as entrepreneurs so it was an eye opening experience for them.”
“The OPPO tools not only help increase their incomes but encourages them to produce work to a higher standard,”she said.
The workshop focused on optimizing the performance of the Pacific agricultural value chains and brought together 10 actors of the coconut value chain including an exporter, transport provider, aid donor, distributor and producer.
“I made the decision to split the 8 tools over 2 days so that the participants can have ample time to digest the concepts.”
“Day 1 started with an introduction to the OPPO approach before exploring its first tool; Farmers Business Cases, Farmer Profiling, Governance Management Performance Tool, Capital Pentagon Tool before finishing off with the Value Chain Analysis,” she said.
“We also touched on farmer entrepreneurship which lead the discussions of Day 2 on action planning for inclusive business models and the collective actions for Farmer Organisations.”
Kaikari said participants found the training valuable as they shared their experiences and plans for the future.
“Most commented on the importance of the Governance Management Performance Tool particularly for Producer Organisations to assess their managerial, governance and performance for its members because it shows areas for improvements.”
“The farmer profiling tool also generated a lot of interest in the way it can also be used as a marketing strategy to tell the story behind products produced by farmers,” she said.
Participants were also given the opportunity to understand their role along the value chain.
“Mapping the value chain was interesting because participants saw the many actors that were involved, they also began to understand the increase in the value of their product as it moved from field to fork,” she said.
Kaikari said the training also highlighted for participants the importance of self-reliance.
“The principle to heat up ‘cold’ money for approaching agriculture development gets everyone differently which is applicable to many agricultural projects in the country.”
“Farmers realize they must work hard to achieve what they want, as well as align their business needs alongside support programmes that aid donors provide,” she said.
*Maryjane Hou Kaikari achieved Facilitator status for Value Chain Training in May of this year at the regional Cross Learning Workshop and the Pacific Mini OPPO Workshop. The programme was hosted by the Wageningen University and Research/ Centre for Development Innovation for 6 Pacific Island nations in the Netherlands (2018). The project was a joint initiative between CTA and PIFON.*