Eight Pacific Islanders from the private and public sector in seven countries to participate in 3 week International Course

Building Capacity for Change in Pacific Value Chains: Farmer Inclusive Business Development
Course:  ‘Organised farmers as partners in agribusiness – Optimising the performance of producers’ organisations’, 17 September to 5 October 2018, The Netherlands

Within the framework of the CTA/IFAD/PIPSO project “Promoting Nutritious Food Systems in the Pacific Islands” (Innov4AgPacific), CTA is facilitating the participation of eight leaders in agriculture, agribusiness and value chain development from Fiji, Samoa, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Tonga in the international course organised by the Wageningen University (WUR) and the Centre for Development Innovation (CDI), the Netherlands.

The eight participants were identified in consultation with Pacific partners and represent the Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON), the Fiji Crop and Livestock Council (FCLC), the Marshall Islands Organic Farming Association (MIOFA), the Vanuatu Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Bio-security (MALFFB) and the Kiribati Ministry of Environment, Lands & Agriculture Development (MELAD).

They are: Jiu Daunivalu (FCLC, Fiji), Timote Waqainabete (PIFON, Fiji), Joanna Burke (PIFON, Tonga), Faafetai Fata (PIFON, Samoa), Maryjane Hou (PIFON, Solomon Islands), Routan Tongaiaba (MELAD, Kiribati), Karness Kusto (MIOFA, Marshall Islands) and Peter Iesul (MALFFB, Vanuatu).


About the course – New insights, capacities and tools

Farmers are key actors in agrifood sector development, feeding and nourishing growing populations and realising economic development. The three-week international course has three main modules: ‘Farmers and Farmer Organisations’; ‘Positioning on Value Chains in Market systems’ and ‘Towards Farmer-Inclusive Business Development’.

Knowledge exchange and experience sharing will be actively facilitated through discussions and lectures, farmer business case analyses, brainstorm sessions, visits to Dutch farmers, their organisations and cooperative businesses. The course aims to equip participants with state-of-the-art knowledge about farmer professionalization and empowerment and business development of farmers’ organizations. The Pacific delegates will gain insights on how to turn problems into opportunities and explore alternative intervention strategies and practical tools for facilitating collective action and market engagement.

 “Through collective action of their organisations, farmers can better access agro-inputs and credit, improve their production, create added value, access more remunerative markets and lobby and advocate for a more enabling policy and business environment.” – WUR/CDI Course Organizers


Seeing the bigger picture – becoming game changers

This course will build the foundation for change and upscaling of value chains in the Pacific region. In 2017, the Innov4AgPacific project commissioned a study led by PIFON, which identified priority nutrition sensitive value chains for further development.

“By building the capacity of Pacific agri-experts and leaders through this international course, we expect that they will train other producers and value chain (VC) stakeholders and develop prototypes of inclusive business model that can enhance governance, strengthen collaboration and improve trust among VC actors particularly between producers-buyers, producers-government and producer-producer for upgrading priority ‘nutrition sensitive’ local value chains”  – Judith Francis, Pacific Project Leader and Senior Programme Coordinator, S&T Policy, CTA.

After the course, the trained participants will be supported to share lessons learned, lead the development of priority value chain(s) and coordinate face-to-face and online training sessions in their respective countries. In collaboration with WUR-CDI, PIFON and CTA they will also contribute to the development of a prototype for change and a training module on inclusive business development tailored to the Pacific context.

Due to the geographical distribution of partners and VC actors, the training and knowledge sharing sessions will be supported through the Innov4AgPacific VCC/AI platform, where online discussions will be facilitated to promote consensus building and trust among actors.

A regional cross-learning workshop will also be organized to finalise the training module and protocol for upgrading Pacific priority VCs and plan strategies for influencing policies and programmes that support stronger farmer organisations and enhance agribusiness and value chain performance for improved income and nutrition outcomes.

The ultimate goal of the Innov4AgPacific project in supporting this critical international training, targeting Pacific leaders from several organisations is to motivate and enable all participants to become ‘game changers’ in their organisations and countries and proactively ‘make a difference for thousands of family farms’. Knowledge, joint learning, collaboration, trust and partnerships are key to successful innovation in Pacific agri-food systems.


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