Building our Capacity for Value Chain Analysis

Written by: Lilly Lim-Camacho (CSIRO), MD Ismail Hossain (BAU), and Mahanambrota Dash (Shushilan)

The SIAGI value chain team recently held a value chain analysis training workshop, hosted by CDHI at their Jalpaiguri office, on 23-26 August 2016. All partner organisations were represented, giving us a great opportunity to build on the combined expertise across the SIAGI team.

The activity kicked off with a welcome dinner and briefing, followed by a day out visiting field sites in Dhaloguri and Uttar Chakowakheti, and a local farmers market at Mainaguri Road. It was the first visit to Jalpaiguri by our colleagues from Bangladesh, enabling great learning against the different case study contexts.

Photo 1
Farmers and traders at the Mainaguri Road local market, where most of the participants are male.  (Photo: Lilly Lim-Camacho)

Days 2 and 3 focused on module-based training, covering the following topics:

  • Principles of value chain analysis, by Lilly (CSIRO) and Ismail (BAU)
  • Value chain and social inclusion perspectives, by Mahanam and Sakul (both Shushilan), Mojammel (BAU), Subrata and Joy (both CDHI), Michaela (CSIRO), and Alak (PRADAN)
  • Econometrics, by Pulak and Bhagirath (both IIT)
  • Public private partnerships and entrepreneurship, by Tushar (YesBank)

The way the sessions were developed and run showed we could overcome the tyrannies of distance and conflicting workloads: Michaela led the development of the inclusion module, even if she wasn’t able to attend the workshop. Tushar ran his module online from Delhi – with a recorded presentation (25:38) while he was on Skype for questions and discussions. (So we had tech and IT capacity building as well!)

Photo 3
Post-presentation discussion with Tushar online from Delhi  (Photo: Lilly Lim-Camacho)

In addition to the field visit, the training sessions were contextualised by a significant stakeholder discussion session where government and farming stakeholders were invited to share their thoughts on issues surrounding inclusion in value chains. It was evident that there was a lack of communication between the two stakeholder groups, and we had great moment of achievement when one government stakeholder decided to continue farmer discussions immediately after the session!

Lots of discussion, learning, design and planning occurred throughout the workshop. Here are videos of Ismail (1:09) and Mahanam (4:30) sharing their thoughts on the field visit and workshop.

The value chain workshop achieved a lot. We’re not only proud of having achieved the goals we had set; we’re also proud to continue building friendships along the way.

Photo 2
The team holds a discussion with farmers at Uttar Chakowakheti, led by Mitali and Subrata (Photo: Benu Kanta Dey)


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