In the middle of the MTCP2 programme, the national implementing agency in the Solomon Islands ran into a problem – their main donor suddenly changed their priorities and pulled all their funding from the organisation. Without alternative income streams in place, this caused some critical issues threatening the existence of the farmer organisation. The programme stepped in to support strategic planning and the consultations necessary to reduce the size of the organisation to its core businesses that served their members. This would allow the organisation to then regrow in a more sustainable way.
This is a common story amongst farmer organisations, and can be seen as part of their natural development. It is a situation that often looks disastrous from within the organisation, but when you step back you can see the opportunities for change and regrowth. This is one of the benefits of being part of a larger farmer organisation network, when things go wrong you are able to call on the other members of the network to provide perspective and help provide guidance. This incident provided a good reminder to farmer organisations across the region on the need for developing income generating activities and not being too donor focused – members should always be the first priority.
Thanks to the support provided by the programme, the national implementing agency is now operational again, with a refined focus. They have secured new funding and are pursuing income generating activities to meet the needs of their members and to provide financial security for the future.