1. How does the network benefit your organisation?
Through the APF network there are focused chain interventions and agreements on ‘who is doing what’. At global level, the ‘Gender in Value Chains’ network made that gender is more integrated and practically translated in various programmes of ours. At country level, the Yiriwa Trade house in Mali is functioning and trading for and with small farmers. In Ethiopia, a business plan competition led to exchange on issues such as farmer entrepreneurship and improved seeds. In Kenya, a value chain coaching trajectory resulted in organisational development and strengthened capacity of several economic organisations. A private business development service (BDS) provider took up the market linking role for farmers involved. Two other BDS providers on ICT based solutions are improving access to market information.
2. Please give an example of a joint action, in which the APF network played a visible role.
In Rwanda, where ICCO has the lead, the network facilitates stronger cooperation between stakeholders in specific value chains, such as rice, honey, potatoes, corn and cassava. Business clusters formed around specific value chains include partners from ICCO, Oxfam Novib, Agriterra and SNV and receive coaching from local facilitators trained by IFDC. In addition, producer organisations are supported in a competitive way through a basket fund for value chain development. Different member organisations contribute to this fund. Other examples of join action include the World Banana forum/café, ICT based BDS in Kenya and the exchange of best practices in value chain finance and rural microfinance.
3. If you were in charge, what should the APF network look like in 5 years’ time?
APF should continue with the Agri-Hubs. In these Hubs development agencies will increasingly work together, because it is a requirement, but also because it is in our best interest. This speeds up our learning and increases impact. We would also envision Agri-Hubs in Asia and Latin America, and strong learning networks worldwide in line with technological advancements, new media and the ease with which knowledge travels around the globe nowadays.
4. How will your organisation contribute to the APF network in the next 2 years?
Our contribution consists of intensive collaboration within the Agri-Hubs, taking the lead in some, continue our strategic input in the APF board, and come up with new and fresh initiatives. Thematically we would like to focus on the connection between value chains, rural entrepreneurship and food security.
Contact: Jeroen de Vries