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2016 SFOAP Supervision mission in Eastern Africa

The third IFAD supervision mission of the SFOAP main phase in the Eastern Africa region took place from the 4th to the 13th July 2016. The objective of the mission was to critically review the implementation of the Programme by EAFF and their national member organisations (NFOs) and to review progress against the recommendations of the Mid-Term Review. The mission also aimed at providing any implementation support possibly needed by the regional organisation, and mapping out the domains in which further support might be needed.

The team was composed of the IFAD Task Manager, SFOAP Analyst and Financial Management Consultant, and was accompanied by representatives from EAFF.

The mission spent 7 days in Kenya, where consultations were held with EAFF and the Cooperative Alliance of Kenya (CAK), including a half day field visit to a CAK dairy training programme, and 3 days in Rwanda, visiting the national farmers’ organisation (FO) IMBARAGA. In Rwanda, two representatives of the Fédération des Organisations des Producteurs Agricole du Congo (FOPAC)also participated to the mission, while the District Agriculture Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture joined the field visits.

In both countries the mission held consultations with the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency and IFAD Country offices to foster a concrete partnership with FOs at country level. Several FOs participated to the meeting with IFAD country office, including IMBARAGA, the National Cooperatives Confederation of Rwanda (NCCR), the Syndicat Rwandais des Agriculteurs et Eleveurs (INGABO), and FOPAC in Rwanda; and CAK and the Kenya Livestock Producers Association (KLPA) in Kenya. The Conseil de Concertation des Organisations d’Appui aux Initiatives de Base (CCOAIB) also joined the meeting in Rwanda.

According to the mission, the implementation of SFOAP activities is satisfactory. The mission congratulated EAFF for the solid approach adopted for the implementation of SFOAP activities and highlighted how EAFF is on track to complete all activities by the planned completion date of December 2017. EAFF has shown to have a strong leadership and implementation capacity, with a well- structured Secretariat. The fiduciary arrangements in place are adequate for a proper management of funds. The activities have proven to be relevant, are responding to the needs of local and national FOs, and have had a positive impact on farmers and their organisations. Also, most of the MTR recommendations are or are being implemented. The main challenge until the end of the programme remains ensuring that the national and local FOs are in a position to continue their growth and are capable of attracting financing.

In terms of the progress of activities under the different components, Component 3 – Provision of Economic Services, is the most prominent. In order to generate a critical mass of experiences at the national level and facilitate exchanges and knowledge management, the component is focusing on three target value chains (VC): cassava, Irish potatoes and livestock (dairy). At the regional level EAFF has focused its direct technical support to the livestock value chain and hired a livestock expert to support them and the Djibouti Agro-Pastoralists Association (DAPA) with the export of 45 breeding dairy goats from Kenya to Djibouti (see more on this initiative here). The scope of this activity is to increase the milk production of goat farms in Djibouti, and thus increasing their incomes. This is to be done by breeding the more productive Kenyan species with the local ones, more resilient to the climate and environment in Djibouti.

In Rwanda the mission visited a demonstration plot in Rubavu, and held discussions with farmers’ groups in Rubavu and Nyabihu. Discussions showed that potato productivity has practically doubled, from 10 to 20 tonnes per hectare as a result of provision of good quality seeds to farmers’ groups and the delivering of trainings on good agronomic practices for potato production. Additionally, IMBARAGA accompanied representatives from the supported groups to meet and negotiate with the seed multipliers to ensure a continued and sustainable availability of quality seeds. IMBARAGA is also fostering market linkages with potato processing companies.

In Kenya, CAK supported the training of 200 farmers from Kirinyaga Dairy Coop on Knowledge Management and Learning (KM&L) including field visits and mentorship support provided by a highly successful member, the Muki Farmers’ Cooperative. In addition, CAK trained 221 farmers on dairy management topics including calf rearing, milk hygiene and fodder preparation. As a result, the number of active members in Kirinyaga has increased from 300 to 600 and the milk delivery to the co-operative increased from 500 litres of milk per day to over 1,200 litres of milk per day. In recognition of the improvement of governance and increased milk production, the Governor of Kirinyaga County has donated a pasteurizer with the capacity of 500 litres to the co-operative to enhance value addition. The cooperative now sells milk to local schools and hospitals, and have also set up a milk retail shop.

Overall, according to the supervision team, notwithstanding impressive results, FOs should strengthen the medium-to-long term sustainability of their initiatives and recommended them to strengthen downstream market linkages with traders and other buyers.

Finally, three annual KM events will be organised at the national level in Tanzania, Burundi and Kenya around the three commodities (Irishpotato, cassava and livestock (dairy) respectively). The mission suggested FOs to involve IFAD country representatives and to combine them with field level activities and modules for scalability and replication at country level.

In terms of Component 2 – Policy engagement, regional level activitiesfocused mainly on the East African Community (EAC) Cooperative Societies Bill. Following the voting of the Bill in 2015, ratification has occurred in 3 of the 5 EAC member countries. Once the Bill is ratified by all members, the EAFF will organise a regional meeting to discuss and develop strategy for its implementation at the regional level.

At the National level, the Uganda Cooperative Alliance (UCA) is currently undertaking a major policy consultation process for the development of a district level ordinance on cassava, while it is planned that two other EAFF members will conduct policy research on their respective commodities by 2016. According to the supervision team, this component is a good example of a successful bottom-up approach with strong linkages across components and with the selection of policy topics stemming from activities under component 3, including the identification of major policy gaps that limit the growth of farmers in the value chains.

In terms of Component 1 – Institutional Strengthening,the share of staff salaries covered by SFOAP is declining as per the Mid Term Review recommendations.

Following the meetings with IFAD Country Programmes it was suggested to FOs in DR Congo to focus on improving financial management and procurement standards for a possible participation to the activities of the North Kivu Agriculture Sector Support Project (PASA NK), which is about to start. Similarly, it was suggested to IMBARAGA to focus on supporting the farmers' groups on Irish Potatoes to help them evolve into primary level cooperatives to be considered as potential partners within the Post-harvest Agribusiness Support Project (PASP). Finally, in Kenya fruitful consultations have led to potential partnership opportunities with on going IFAD projects and FOs engaged to share planned activities for 2017 for the development of synergies.

The supervision mission had also a discussion on the progress of activities at the Pan-African Level. EAFF shared the main results of the Pan African Farmers’ Organisation (PAFO) Special Meeting (December 2015), revolving around the improvement of the Constitution, the approval of the budget and Strategic Plan, and the establishment of the Secretariat. Concerns were raised by EAFF on the way the Women Forum was organized in 2015, with an agenda not stemming from regional FOs (RFOs) initiatives and policies and with pitfalls in the logistics, and on the lack of procedures and periodic reporting on the activities carried out by PAFO Chief Executive Officer and RFOs on behalf of the PAFO constituency. EAFF suggested to fast track the process for the establishment of the Secretariat, urged the deployment of periodic reporting on PAFO activities and the implementation of minimum standards in relation to the roles and functions of PAFO Board.

In addition, the mission and EAFF discussed on post SFOAP and on the need to think around a more tailored approach for regional programmes as well as on the need to soon start the preparation of the Farmers’ Forum at regional level. 

Please consult the full report from the mission by downloading the document below.

 

Photo credit: Antonella Cianciotta

from 04/07/2016 to 13/07/2016
Thematic Areas: Access to Services, Capacity Building, Knowledge Management, Markets and Value chains, Monitoring and Evaluation, Policy Dialogue
Region: East Africa