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Eye-openers for farmer organizations

Farmers’ groups are often not well organized. Therefore, their bargaining power remains poor and their capacities for collective and concerted actions remain underdeveloped. One of the consequences is that transportation costs are generally too high.

The field extension officers of Psaltry International Limited (PIL), one of 2SCALE’s major partners, are in charge of sourcing cassava for the factory through farmers’ groups. Following a needs assessment, ICRA designed a capacity strengthening plan for the six extension officers including a series of learning cycles.

On December 17th and 18th 2014, ICRA’s national trainer Dr. Gbenga Idowu started the implementation of the first learning cycle with a workshop on building effective farmer organizations. This training was held in Ado Awaye, Oyo State in Nigeria. In January, Dr. Gbenga accompanied the field extension officers in the field for coaching sessions. These sessions focused on the transportation issues. It helped farmer groups in identifying and selecting the best transportation model and the coordination with transporters to reduce the cost of transportation.

In February the second learning cycle on building strong business relationships and inclusive business strategies was delivered.  One enthusiastic coach commented: “We are learning a lot! In fact I have now realized that there are many things we never considered important in building healthy business relationships with the producers; this training from 2SCALE provides the eye-openers we needed!”

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