Workshop on Value Chain Development and Farming as a Business (FaaB)
28th - 30th of January 2009
The Access to Markets Capacity Building Program (ATM CPB) was launched in 2003 by
Cordaid, a Dutch development organisation. Access to Markets (ATM) is one of Cordaid
thematic areas aimed at the alleviation of poverty.
Phase I of this program was set up to build the capacity of the Ugandan partner organisation
in ATM, to provide facilitation models for ATM and to identify subsectors for market
Phase II of this program has started in July 2008 and focuses on the commercialization of
the farmers so that they become competitive and establish sustainable rewarding market
linkages. All 9 partner organisations of Cordaid have an individual logframe (2008-2010) with
activities to initiate the commercialization of the farmers. The monitoring of the program also
focuses on this aspect. By providing the farmers with tools to keep farm records it is possible
to keep track of their progress.
FIT Uganda Ltd has overall responsibility for project coordination and provides professional
backstopping and project management.
In order to commercialize farmers, the Partner Organisations conduct FaaB trainings for
farmers and facilitate farmers in accessing markets. They identified local consultants to help
them carrying out these activities. Therefore, the workshop was attended by these
consultants and by new staff from Partner Organisations who had not been trained yet in
The workshop was organised with the major objective of giving the local consultants and new
staff of Partner Organisations an orientation in the Cordaid ATM project and in the Value
Chain concept FIT Uganda uses. Another important objective was to train them in facilitating
the Farming as a Business training as they have to roll it out amongst the farmers.
Participants voiced the need to learn about FIT Uganda, get skills to conduct FaaB trainings,
learn about VCD and its development, share experiences with each other, learn more about
marketing strategies to motivate farmers, and get solutions for the challenges faced during
The workshop lasted for three days during which various methodologies were used.
Presentations were given and these took a highly participatory approach. A special
participatory tool called force field analysis was also used to enable teamwork, analysis and
consulting with each other.
Participants shared a lot of experiences with each other and explained the way they work
and the challenges and opportunities they face in the ATM project and how they deal with
Contents of workshop
FIT Uganda kickstarted the first day of the workshop by explaining the FIT profile.
Subsequently the participants were taken through the general principles of the ATM project
and the objectives of the second phase of ATM CPBII. Partner Organisations and
consultants were urged to emphasize commercialization in all interactions with the farmers.
Participatory exercise on ATM
This exercise was meant to analyse restraints and opportunities in linking farmers to
markets, both on farmer level as well as on Partner Organisation level. The so called
forcefield analysis tool was used in which participants were divided in groups and had to
write down hindering and helping forces and stick them on a scale. The scale shows where
the balance of forces lies to show whether overall the group is being helped or hindered. The
outcome was meant as input for the rest of the workshop.
Value Chain Development and Value Chain Mapping
Participants were taken through several definitions of a value chain. Also various examples
of value chains were discussed. These were in two broad categories; producer-driven chains
and buyer-driven chains which can be at either local, regional or even national and
international levels. Subsequently participants were guided on how to do value chain
The Value Chain Development part was concluded by a practical case study which showed
how bean farmers in western Uganda were facilitated in creating market linkages.
The FaaB training also took a participatory approach in which the participants discussed the
Organisation of FaaB training
Approaches and methods for FaaB (adult learning techniques)
Group dynamics principles
Value addition in FaaB
Basics of farm records keeping
Savings and credits
The participants concluded that the workshop had met their expectations and that it had
been useful altogether. The relevance of the workshop to their professional needs was good
and they agreed that the content provided valuable information, skills and experiences
relevant to the different topics.