Recommended enhancements to the proposed programme design.
Concluded that at least three banks would be interested in participating in a matching grants programme.
Identified ways to improve productivity and profitability in both dairy and potato value chains, such as shifting the calving season and tapping new sources for affordable seed potatoes.
Assessed the proposed business support and capacity building activities that were intended to strengthen the value chains.
Evaluated the proposed access to finance activities that were designed to support the dairy and potato value chains.
Developed recommendations to improve the programme’s likelihood of success, focusing primarily on the support, capacity building, and access to finance activities.
When designing value chain projects, it is important to factor in sufficient time to achieve lasting change — often the typical four year time frame is much too short. This is especially true for collective structures such as cooperatives which take time and effort to build. The benefits need to be demonstrated to farmers over a longer period of time to garner their full commitment.
The desire to work with local institutions as implementation partners to build local capacity is appropriate as long as actors in the value chain – such as farmers and processors – acquire international best practices in production, marketing and partnering. International expertise is expensive, but often necessary to achieve the desired production and economic growth.