Workshop report of the regional inception workshop 'learning by doing: capacity development approaches at the local level, which took place on 26-27 November 2007 in Bangkok, Thailand, and was organised by UNDP and SNV (Netherlands Development Organisation), with support from the UNDP Asia Regional Governance Programme (ARGP). The primary workshop objectives were 1) to share lessons learned on capacity development strategies and development efforts aimed at contributing to the MDGs at the sub-national/local level; and 2) identify critical knowledge gaps that need to be addressed to support sub-national/local capacities for reaching the MDGs.
Cassava is a cash crop that grows predominantly in upland areas of Vietnam with low soil fertility and high poverty rates among farmers. SNV is implementing a project in the north-central region of Vietnam, in which some 10,000 farmers in a cassava growing area have successfully become business partners with starch factories. In this project, the factories are the anchor companies in inclusive business models, taking the lead in the formation of farmer groups and entering into long-term profitable business agreements for a regular input supply. Promotion of sustainable production such as intensive cultivation, soil erosion prevention and staggered cropping is based on the development of know-how within the anchor company as well as with locally operating service providers. SNV leads the process, ensuring the replicability of sustainable services for farmers within and beyond the scope of the project. The inclusive business approach of the programme takes the medium and large enterprises as the entry point for engaging the poor. Investment, commitment and good governance is required from these enterprises to ensure the sustainability of the model.
This paper concerning market access of honey producers in Cameroon was written for the international conference on ‘the role of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation’. The conference was held in Vietnam.
Ethnic minority farmers located on the hillsides of North-Central Vietnam are being offered opportunities to improve their livelihoods and incomes in a sustainable way, by working together with cassava processing enterprises who want to develop cassava in an environmentally sound manner. With a grant from the Ford Foundation this value chain improvement project affected an estimated 10,000 households during the 2008-2011 period: increasing average incomes by more than 20% with additional improvements in environmental sustainability of growing practices as well as increased reliability in business relations. The companies also benefited from increased supply of cassava of higher quality. The scaling-up of the project to include 200,000 farmers is now being explored via possible collaboration between IFAD, CIAT and actors in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. The potential for collaboration between farmers and processors is enormous in Vietnam and neighbouring countries as cassava is rapidly becoming a major commodity, with hundreds of thousands of smallholders supplying products to processing enterprises.
See also: Inclusive Business at SNV