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Hemispheric capacity building Program yields results in LAC

Hemispheric capacity building Program yields results in LAC

The focus: associativity and business management. The objective: to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the agricultural chains of the Americas.

San Jose, Costa Rica (IICA).  Nearly 300 technicians from 65 institutions linked to the agricultural sector in 14 countries of the Americas strengthened their skills in the design of business plans, marketing management, export and business management plans during 2017, thanks to the efforts of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).

Training was imparted through on-site and online workshops, which also benefited producers’ organizations representing the following production chains: cocoa, poultry, coffee, cashew, vegetables, sesame, honey, banana, avocado, cotton, ornamental plants, crafts, typical products, beans, maize, ovine meat, milk, mushrooms, grapes, and the aquaculture and agro-tourism sectors.

This capacity building program was made possible thanks to the work of IICA’s Flagship Project on Productivity and Sustainability of Agricultural Chains, an initiative aimed at promoting progress, innovation and the improvement of production and post-production systems in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

The following are some examples of the actions carried out:

 

  • Venezuela: 18 technicians of the Secretariat for Food Security and Agrarian Development of Carabobo State improved their knowledge of poultry business management, in order to support small producers’ initiatives to contribute to food security and income generation. This was achieved through a partnership between IICA and the Central University of Venezuela.
  • Honduras: in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock’s EMPRENDESUR Program, IICA supported the design of business plans to add value to producers´ organizations associated with the coffee, okra, tilapia, cashew, sesame, honey and agro-tourism chains. The plans focus on the utilization of sub-products and residues, packaging and labeling, coffee tours and the development of new products.
  • Peru: capacity building with 80 extension workers of the Agrarian Services Platform, SERVIAGRO, in marketing management and value added. SERVIAGRO is a unit of the Ministry of Agriculture, based in Lima, Ucayali, Ica and Ancash.
  • Argentina: enhanced the business management capabilities of a group of technicians involved in the Project “Competitiveness and Sustainability of the Horticulture Chain of the Corrientes Green Belt” and implemented a Training Program for Facilitators of Commercial Innovation Processes of Northeast Argentina, in Corrientes province, with the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) and the ArgenINTA and Incluir foundation.
  • Costa Rica: supported the generation of business ideas with value added for cocoa producers’ organizations in the Atlantic and Northern regions, where the country’s main cocoa production areas are concentrated. This effort was supported by the Costa Rican Government program “Tejiendo Desarrollo” and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).
  • Dominican Republic: capacity building for extension workers of the Ministry of Agriculture on standards, procedures, regulations and requirements for the export of fresh products to the United States.

In addition, 35 technicians from 12 countries participated in an online course to improve their skills in designing business plans for developing value added products.

To accompany these training processes, IICA produced a series of 9 manuals on associativity, marketing, business management and value adding, which benefited technicians from different institutions. With IICA’s support, the trainees used the manuals to improve the performance of producers´ organizations in their respective countries.

According to Marvin Blanco, IICA’s Specialist in Agribusiness and Value Added, these actions helped to resolve critical factors that affect the competitiveness of agricultural chains in the Latin American and Caribbean countries, particularly the low levels of articulation of small-scale farmers in the value adding and commercialization processes.

According to Blanco, “a factor of success was our effective coordination with programs and projects linked to the countries’ Ministries of Agriculture for the selection of beneficiaries and complementation of resources.”

 

More information:

Marvin Blanco M, Specialist in Agribusiness and Value Added.

marvin.blanco@iica.int

 

 

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