The Caribbean Farmers Network (CaFAN) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) under the European Union All African Caribbean and Pacific Agricultural Commodities Programme (EU AAACP), and the Italy funded “Promoting CARICOM / CARIFORUM Food Security” Project (GTFS/RLA/141/ITA) is co-hosting and organizing a ‘Regional Training Course in Agribusiness Management for Farmers’ Organizations’.
The training Course is scheduled to be held in Saint Lucia from July 26th – 30th, 2010 at the Bay Gardens Inn conference room. It will also bring together leading farmers organizations and selected value chain stakeholders from eleven Caribbean countries; Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and host country St. Lucia.
The objective of the EU AAACP is to improve the livelihoods of producers in commodity dependant ACP countries, of which the upcoming training course will be the third regional activity for farmers’ organizations under their (EU AAACP) support.
In April 2008 in Jamaica, the roots and tubers sector was identified as a priority sector for overall EU AAACP support, and the first regional workshop for farmers’ organizations was held in St. Lucia in November 2008. Participants at this workshop developed action plans and identified capacity building needs for improved provisions and ways of doing business. Several of the organizations were selected based on their involvement in the production and marketing of roots and tubers for support from the EC AAACP. A second workshop was then held in Grenada in January 2009 where CaFAN was given the responsibility of coordinating and networking activities of the selected organizations.
The value chain component of the Promoting CARICOM/CARIFORUM Food Security Project (GTFS/RLA/141/ITA) focuses on activities in strengthening the participation, capacity and productivity of farmers’ organizations and agribusiness associations leading inclusive business models in commodity value chains. This activity is the third regional meeting focused largely on fresh produce producer groups. The first, a Caribbean Agri-Food Value Chain “Kick Off” Workshop held in Trinidad and Tobago from the 5th to the 8th of May, 2009 marked the launching of the Project value chain component where 5 fresh produce chains (hot pepper, ackee, pineapple, salad fruit and onions) were identified, the project work program presented, and participants introduced to the value chain approach. The second, a Caribbean Agri-Food Value Chain Upgrading Strategy and Action Planning Workshop that was held on the 12-16 of October 2009 in Barbados, and focused on building capacity amongst value chain actors and service providers to implement national value chain and business model upgrading work.
The upcoming training Course is designed to strengthen the role and support services provision of national farmers’ organization to become more ‘professionally’ oriented and apply agribusiness best principles and best practices. Topics to be covered during the training course include:
- Value chain analysis and development, business models approach and the need for agribusiness skills
- Introduction into adult training methods and techniques
- Agri-Business Management –(Group enterprise development, Marketing, Business planning, Managing finance, Managing people)
- Introduction into management of producers’ organisations and underlying principles
- Management and organsational issues of Farmers’ Organisations
- Supply chain management for producers’ organisations
- Post-harvest and distribution programmes for reliable fresh produce marketing
- Introduction into Value Chain Finance – options and tools
- Best practices for funding and/or self-financing FBOs in selected value chains