Demand-driven Implementation Support Missions - where farmers are eager to get answers to their questions
|Farmers listening to agronomic advice from the Oil Palm Expert on an IFAD supervision mission|
We are currently on a supervision mission for the Vegetable Oil Development Project (VODP2) in Uganda. We have two teams - one looking at the oilseeds component in Eastern and Northern Uganda, and another looking at oil palm growing in Kalangala District.
One of the mission team members is an oil palm expert. He is called Billy Ghansah and the farmers always look forward to the missions just so they can get all their palm related questions with experiences from West Africa. The expert works with the extension workers in their support to the farmers. The oil palm farmers have with time come to understand that the advice they get from the oil palm expert and the Kalangala Oil Palm Growers' Trust (KOPGT) field extension staff is very important in making their gardens more productive and increasing yield.
|Billy (Oil Palm Expert) explains to the farmers and field extension workers that |
sooty mould fungus is spread by mealy bugs, and how to prevent it.
|A farmers' leader gives a vote of thanks to the team for sharing with them|
information to help them earn more from oil palm
|"Why are the fronds of my palm tree drying up?"|
This female farmer, Imelda Nalubowa (center)
wont let the expert go before getting a solution!
In the field visit to Kagulube Block on Wednesday 25 September, each farmer wanted the team to go to their gardens so that the oil palm expert could look at the trees they thought were not doing well for one reason or another. There was a farmers meeting and each farmer had a question. Some wanted to know why the leaves of their palms were yellow and what they could do about it? A female farmer was worried that there were insects eating up the shoots of her palms. Luckily, there was an entomologist from the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), which has signed an MoU with VODP, to provide support to farmers. He was able to respond to her question and give her useful advice.
What do we learn from all this?
- If you are providing very useful information to farmers, they will be eager to receive and apply it. Useful information for farmers in this case is information which enables them to earn better incomes from their agricultural enterprises.
- Missions are a great opportunity to interact with beneficiaries and see things from their perspective, and then work with them towards obtaining meaningful answers to their questions and concerns. Missions are not 'business as usual' because there is constant change and team members have to adapt.
- Sharing useful information is not a once-off event. Information should be shared consistently until the message is clearly understood by all and is implemented. Imagine someone had given up telling the oil palm farmers that they needed fertilizer? Consistency has paid off. Now the farmers are where they need to be - a place where they don't wait for you to bring the information to them, but they are eager to learn, and will go out of their way to ask and find answers.
For IFAD, missions offer a great value proposition for projects especially when the teams work towards meeting expressed needs.
Impact: A female farmer has built this permanent house from her sales
of oil palm fresh fruit bunches.
In a newly planted garden, the farmer is taught to not 'choke' the seedling.
This farmer also asked how much fertilizer of each required type
he needs to put on his 1 acre garden.
The objectives of the retreat included: (i) to get to know each other and learn about what IFAD and all its co-financed projects are doing in Burkina; (ii) determine whether there are practices and/or innovations which would merit being shared and if so, how to share them; (iii) determine if there are common difficulties in the implementation of projects and programmes and together propose shared solutions and (iv) discuss openly and have fun.
The organizers took on the world café facilitation methodology very seriously. Each table was prepared with colourful local tablecloths, had flowers on the table and made sure that the room set-up enhanced conversation amongst coffee-table guests. Indeed exchanges were lively and frank.
The world-café theme of the first day was "what exit strategy is required that will assure the durability of project investments and the sustainability of the institutions set-up through project support"? Amongst many ideas and proposals, some of the ones which were ranked the highest include: (i) exit-strategies must be developed at project design; (ii) exit-strategies must be in place at the onset of project implementation and they must be prepared together with all the actors involved in project implementation (Government, target group, project staff, etc.); (iii) exit strategies must include the training and preparation of target-group's organizations in order to assure that these will be able to take over certain project activities once the project will have completed; (iv) exit strategies must include the preparation of Government decentralized bodies to take over the supervision and follow-up of certain project activities once the project will have closed and (v) many more.
The conclusions of day two will come tomorrow...stay tuned!
Microfinance can be one of the most effective instruments to eradicate rural poverty and boost sustainable development. And Pakistan, in particular, has been widely recognized as a pioneer and laboratory for innovation in the provision of microfinance services – with a proactive stance on putting clients first.
|Fozia, 28, shows cloth at the shop that she started with a microfinance |
loan in Sindh Province, Pakistan. ©IFAD/Asad Zaidi
So…what has contributed to this success? To answer that question, we in IFAD’s Policy and Technical Advisory Division have prepared a non-technical paper analysing some of the factors, actors, triggers and drivers that have made Pakistan’s microfinance market so robust. The information in the report is based on documentation prepared by the Pakistani Microfinance Network’s communication team. Please read the report to learn more. We hope that many of its findings can be adapted or replicated in other countries.
Yeshi alem Wasi, (left) the chairperson of the Watershed Committee and a fellow committee member describe challenges and successes faced while undertaking watershed management activities in Kernwary, Dangila District, Ethiopia.
A nun and community member of Kernwary Kebele (ward), cuts grass to feed her livestock in the protected watershed.
|Biogas installation Mali|
a platform for Stakeholders to come together
By Line Kaspersen, IFAD Uganda County Office
Charles Twikirize, the District Production Officer from Mbale, Eastern Uganda,
asks for answers. Such forums serve as knowledge sharing events.
Manager, Ms Connie Masaba, |
explains the high level development objectives of the project
There are three critical elements and these include seed, land and knowledge. And farmers need to embrace agriculture as a business not a default option
vice-chairperson of Lira appreciates the support to smallholder farmers:|
“Small trees make the forest thick. Large trees can never do that".
|Some of the participants of the CPMT in Masindi|
A CPMT is a forum for sharing knowledge, experiences and lessons learned among projects in Uganda. The CPMT meetings have been organized to handle different thematic areas as the projects deem needful
Sharing experiences and field visit with time to interact with beneficiaries to understand the implementation approach and impacts on ground. Presentations were relevant, and so was the representation of other stakeholders.
Here is the CPMT in photos!
|Farmers' groups have been supported with ox-ploughs to increase area of land tilled|
under DLSP enterprise grants
|CPMT visits a female headed poor mentored household|
|After being mentored, the lady in the second pic above has now started building a better shelter for herself!|
(visible impact of household mentoring)
|Under the infrastructure component, this is one of the roads that has been opened up|
to enable rural farmers gain access to markets
|Mr, & Mrs. Byalero, have been mentored since 2010. Here, they |
are showing off the crops they have been able to plant by working together as a family.
|With the household mentor, Julius (in black shirt), and the Community development Officer, Irene|
(spotting a baby bump), in Kijunjubwa Sub county
|A lady shows of her land certificate to the Commissioner Aide Liaison (Ministry of Finance), Maris Wanyera|
(left). Land registration ensures security of land tenure for poor rural households
|Women from a remote village in Orissa State, India. ©IFAD|
ORISSA, India – Greetings from Orissa, where the Joint Supervision Mission for the Orissa Tribal Empowerment and Livelihoods Programme (OTELP) is finalizing its work.
This IFAD-funded project started in 2009 in seven districts in Orissa, and is being implemented in about 1,000 remote villages. These are conflict areas where the opposition Naxal movement is strong, but the project has not been threatened, as this is a project of and by the people. The communities that OTELP supports are composed mainly of tribal peoples: Soura, LanjaSoura, Konda, Kutia Kondha, Paraja, Bonda, Bhumija and Koya. Through various land reforms, they have lost their forest lands – their natural habitat and resources – and, as consequence, have been impoverished.
This IFAD-funded project with the Government of Orissa is not only reaching very remote areas to improve the livelihoods of the poor tribal peoples; it is also reaching out to the poorest and most vulnerable, including the landless and widows. Some 30,000 landless people have been identified in the project area, and about 15,000 pattas (land titles) have been secured so far in approximately 450 villages.
Rights of access
Land titles traditionally have been assigned to the head of the family, hence to men, but the project detected this inequality and adjusted its approach to include both the wife and husband in each title certificate. Single women and widows, too, are now receiving title to their plots of land.
|Village women in Orissa. ©IFAD|
The process of applying for access to forest land in this area is quite cumbersome and time-consuming, particularly for the majority of tribal people who are illiterate. Non-governmental organizations that are implementing the project provide legal support to villagers as they apply to use and manage forest resources in ancestral territories from which they have been alienated for so long.
Many aspects of OTELP’s work are illustrated by the experience of Duti, a young man in the project area.
When he was a boy, Duti’s otherwise normal life took a different turn when he suddenly lost his father. His mother, a housewife, was forced to become a daily wage labourer to feed her children. Without a title to the land on which they resided, Duti’s mother, now 60, recalls living in fear and uncertainty. “Every night if there was a commotion outside, I used to think: Where shall I go with these kids if I am asked to vacate?” she says.
|Duti and his family outside their home. ©IFAD|
‘Now we can plan for our future’
But a big change occurred in April 2012, when Duti and his wife Pulmi received a patta to homestead a small plot of land. The micro plot provided enough space to build a house, a kitchen garden for growing vegetables, and a backyard for poultry.
Duti’s family has expanded their daily menu – with rice, dal and vegetables, eggs and occasionally even mushrooms. With a roof over his head, Duti now has access to electricity from a solar panel provided through a government convergence scheme. In addition, the patta has helped him get a certificate that enabled his five-year-old son to receive free education in the government primary school.
“I never imagined that we would ever have a plot of our own,” says an Duti’s mother, clearly elated.
“Earlier, we used to live for a day,” Duti adds. “Now we can plan for our future.”
Thanks to the great OTELP team for their warm hospitality during our stay.
I must admit that I did not expect so many queries and questions
to my first post. The two
most FAQs were: “What are you going to do? “ and “What did you do to get
there?”. Regarding the first question (the second will be dealt with the next
post) I have a learning agenda composed of teaching (“the most effective form
of learning”), attending selected courses (held by Alain de Janvry, Olivier de
Schutter, Miguel Altieri) and working on my own research related to
agriculture, nutrition and health.
Photo blog: LR on "Innovative ideas to secure rights to resources & land through inclusive business models"
As earlier shared (link), during this LR, we visited three cases, focusing on two different business models: Nucleus estate and out grower model (VODP), and Contract Farming (Star Café &Kabeywa United Coffee Farmers Group; Kawacom).
We also got presentations from Kakira Sugar (nucleus estate and out grower scheme), and Kayonza Tea Growers (contract farming), although we were unable to visit them.
Each of the cases was analyzed on aspects of Ownership, Voice, Risk and Reward.
Vegetable Oil Development Project, Kalangala (implemented under a public private partnership arrangement). There is a farmers' Trust, the Kalangala Oil Palm Growers Trust (KOPGT) which links the farmers to the private sector Oil Palm Uganda Limited (OPUL). KOPGT supports farmers to produce quality fruits, access inputs, financing and the market, as well as supporting the farmer structures under the farmers' association. Farmers are paid through the bank on a monthly based, based on the prevailing price and how much they have produced.
|Mr. Chin shows off some crude palm oil from the mill|
|Some LR participants at the palm oil mill.|
This is where the out growers sell their fresh fruit bunches
|A fresh fruit bunch|
|One of the farmers from Beta West Block sharing with the LR how they benefit from the PPP|
The farmers are organized in blocks, and units under the farmers association and the Kalangala Oil Palm Growers Trust
|LR participants pay close attention to Mr Chin (Private sector) as he explains how they work with the farmers|
|A KUCFG farmer's garden - they encouraged to inter-crop for food security.|
|One of the farmers keeps cattle on zero grazing, for food security and nutrition|
|The SIPI falls, one of the amazing sights of Kapchorwa|
|LR participants meet with Star Café and the KUCFG|
|Farmer Omar welcomes the LR to his home|
|PROCASUR's Diana at Omar's farm|
|It is slippery! Careful as you walk down into the farm lest...|
|Omar and his wife explain what they have learned about mixed farming, organic farming and farm maintenace|
|Omar and the Wife receive a certificate of recognition from one of the LR Participants|
|A copy of the contract that Omar and his wife have signed with Kawacom|
|Breath-taking sights of Kapchorwa|
|Inacio of Mozambique, presenting a certificate to Kawacom representative|
|IFAD's Line appreciates a model farmer with a certificate|
|Time for a hike to the Sipi falls! LR can be fun!|
|And, finally, All work and no play...?!|