Review and Capitalisation Workshop with Epe Vegetable Cluster
To conclude on the capacity strengthening plan for Epe vegetable pilot 2018, a review and capitalisation workshop was facilitated by Onelife Initiative for Human Development between 7th December 2018 and 9th December 2018 at Golden Destiny Hotel Conference room, Ajoa Estate, Lagos State, Nigeria.
The workshop came about, following a learning cycle sessions on business ethics and building sustainable relationship, field coaching session across all clusters; Epe, Agbowa and Oduroye as well, review and reflection on the set up of aggregation points for bulk supply of fruits and vegetable and financial intermediation, with the sole purpose of gathering inputs for developing the activity plan of the new season.
Prominent stakeholders in attendance includes representatives of the lead firm (Spar), aggregators, producer organizations (POs), financial institution representative, Business support service providers (BSS), the partnership facilitator (IFDC); Dr Thompson Ogunsanmi, consultant organisation (Onelife Initiative for Human Development), represented by Mr. Akinyemi Lapinni and Olayiwola Sodiq; for facilitation support, and other local actors, to promote sustainability and capitalize learning.
The workshop among others, provided room for the various actors on the value chain to input feedback based on learning experiences from the learning cycle, stating what worked and what did not work. It was also a good point for actors to identify which actor was the most crucial on the value chain and other important nuances that are important to capitalise and plan for the next cycle
Apart from documenting potential future direction within the partnership model at the end of the 3-day workshop, key outcomes from the coaching session were captured.
Key outcomes include
- Cluster Number: Increase in the of Cluster Coverage and consequently members from 517 ->1000+
- Improved Seed availability: Distributors of EW & RZ seeds now available and accessible
- Technical Know-how: Increased GAP knowledge on vegetable production by POs
- Market opportunities: Access to more structured Markets (farmers markets), Pilot contract farming flagged off
- Youth Participation: More participation of youths and women in activities from average 40 ->48 % since 2016
- Innovations: Knowledge gained by cluster actors during the demonstration activities increased their consciousness on all existing possible errors and inadequacies, leading to the adoption of GAP for adaptation.
- Healthy Competition and Coordination
Bringing smartness to agribusiness by cluster actors is another major outcome from the activities carried out especially in terms of competition, coordination and cooperation.
- Harmonizing of Protocols: Actors became interested in cultivating seeds based on market needs and specifications.
- Increased consciousness on business ethics: Ethical attributes; quality and the likes have become a major consideration among producer groups
- Communication Bridge: Inter and intracluster communication has been established following the field coaching activity, and has since then become a culture within the cluster.
- Reduce Transportation Hitch: Group formation amongst actors has significantly addressed various barriers facing their business, especially in the area of transportation.
- The transition from peasant farmer to business person: The social-cultural mindset of “farming being what it is” has been abolished within the clusters actors. The producer organisations following concerted efforts and engagements now approach agriculture from a business perspective.
- Inclusive agribusiness: Collective actions were taken to encourage women integration in the value chain viz a viz in aggregation, processing and marketing of vegetables
To consolidate on the current progress and development, a two-year action plan was drawn at the closure of the workshop to reinforce and further strengthening the project outcomes. The core point of direction for the action plan were
- Climate-smart agriculture knowledge
- Actualization of aggregation points set-up
- Contract farming facilitation and Negotiation