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Value Chain Hard Talk

Posted by Bashu Wednesday, November 3, 2010

There were more than 35 participants in the session. Mr. Ron Hartman, CPM was the facilitator and the format used to facilitate was a "Hard Talk". Mr. Hartman invited three speakers to talk: David Shearer, Research Program Manager Agribusiness, from the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Frank Hartwich, Industrial Development Officer at UNIDO and Rolf Schinkel, Sustainable Agribusiness Advisor from SNV team for HVAP Nepal.

The talk centered around seven questions in the areas of defining value chains, common practices applied in the development projects, importance of selection of value chain for poverty reduction, importance of value chain analysis, key factors in designing value chain development projects, key issues with implementing value chain projects and issue of M&E in value chain projects. Key points from the discussion include:

  • Value chain is the mechanism that allow producers, processors, buyers, and sellers — separated by time and space — to gradually add value to products and services as they pass from one link in the chain to the next till reaching the final consumer
  • It has two dimensions: theoretical (Supply chain development, Cluster development, Global value chains, Networking for innovation) and practical (Increasing value addition, Knowledge and technology, Joint innovation development)
  • Project design need to be flexible because chains are prone to continuous changes, various chain actors need to participate in design.
  • Chain extends across segments, PMU's only able to deal with parts (expertise) hence the need to partner.
  • Projects can help in organizing / building capacities among farmers, they need partnership with firms regarding production technology and product specification
  • Good value chain analysis helps PMUs to see the "public value" of the project and its development.
  • Value chain 'thinking' should be part of the toolkit in livelihood improvement
  • It allows an analytical methodology to assess constrains and opportunities and approaches to resolve, in the context of the whole chain
  • It allows public and private engagement from a planning stage and a means to engage stakeholders from the beginning
  • Specialists need to 'value' a multi-disciplinary approaches in improving the chains function
  • Poor farmers and private sector together have great business potential
  • Without private sector NO value chain development
  • Value chain development needs PPP; government and private sector go hand in hand
  • The role of government in value chains is the enabling environment
Participants in the session not included only from Asia-Pacific but were also from Africa and Latin America. The facilitator provided opportunities for them to share their experiences. Video clip available soon.

Audiences were provided with opportunities to ask questions towards the end of session which were responded by the speakers. Video clip available soon.

Thomas Elhaut, Director, Asia-Pacific Division shared his views throughout the session. Video clip available soon.

Reported by Bashu Aryal