AMDT Work in the Sunflower Value Chain
AMDT, together with partners, has developed in Intervention Strategy (2016 – 2020) aimed at stimulating systemic changes in a number of areas in the value chain, as outlined below:
Stimulating the market for improved sunflower seed varieties; the aim of this intervention is to stimulate the private sector to invest in supplying improved seed varieties, while also encouraging the public sector through responsible research institutes to invest in developing the breeding capacity for new Hybrid seed varieties in the longer term. The target is to bring into the market at least 4 – 6 new hybrid varieties by 2020. Currently, the majority of farmers use the so called open-pollinated (OPV) seed varieties (which have been around for a long time, thereby losing their original production potential/characteristics.
Two specific interventions have been proposed:
- (i.) Increasing availability of and access to improved seed varieties by smallholder farmers, especially those in highly productive areas.
- (ii.) Re-establishing/upgrading the breeding capacity of the sunflower research institutes so as to develop the country’s capacity for breeding and generation of improved seed varieties in future.
Enhancing pro-poor contractual arrangements between smallholder farmers, small-scale processors, and larger processors/buyers; the aim of this intervention is to enhance collaboration, through contractual arrangements, in order to improve access to finance across the sunflower value chain. This intervention targets smallholder farmers and small-scale processors and aims at increasing the volume and quality of supply of sunflower production, reduce transaction inefficiencies and costs, and enhance economies of scale.
- (i. ) Enhancing access to bundled services for farmers and small-scale processors. Such bundled services include agricultural advisory services, market information services, business development services (e.g. training services in Farming as a Business), and financial services (e.g. credit, savings, and micro-insurance services).
- (ii. ) Building the capacity of farmers’ associations and small-scale processors so as to increase their capacity for self-organisation within the contractual arrangements and in the broader sunflower sub-sector. The intervention will also seek to enhance the capacities of smallholder farmers and small scale processors in bargaining for better terms in the sunflower market system. This will go hand in hand with enhancing their capacity for effective representation so that they actively participate in addressing issues of strategic importance to them and the sunflower sub-sector.
Continuous identification and harmonisation of levies, taxes and regulations that are a disincentive especially to farmers and small-scale processors. The aim of this intervention is to build the capacity of farmers and processors associations, and other strategic partners to advocate and dialogue for a more inclusive local and national business environment in the sub-sector.
Capacity targeted will include:
- (i) Enabling the representative organisations of farmers and processors to frame debates and come up with key issues for reform on policy agendas.
- (ii) Capacity to influence key discussions or declarations by key institutions and leaders in a timely fashion, especially such declarations are likely to impact potential benefits of beneficiaries within a given agricultural season.
- (iii) Capacity to influence procedures and processes, and the content of regulations, levies, taxes, and laws so that there is improved harmonization especially in their implementation.
Enhancing evidence generation, knowledge sharing and strategic coordination in the sunflower sub-sector. The aim of this intervention is to improve knowledge sharing in order to enhance access to and utilization of information and knowledge generated (through research, interventions, lessons from evaluations and capitalization of experiences of others in the sub-sector. This includes lessons from others organisations implementing M4P programs in agricultural value chains elsewhere around the world, the lessons will help maximize AMDT’s impact on the sub-sector as well as contribute to AMDT’s objective brand as a repository of information on the operation of pro-poor agricultural markets systems in the value chain. The aim of strategic coordination to enhance the strategic focus of AMDT key partners and market actors on a strategic pro-poor agenda in the sub-sector (building on the National Sunflower Strategy), while minimising the fragmentation and duplication of investments by other initiatives in the value chain.