Consolidation of the supply chain through strengthened partnerships between companies and farmer groups
The IFC advisory project aims to support VACPA in improving its supply chain and strengthening its involvement upstream of the date sector. The project as a whole must lead to the adoption of sustainable agronomic solutions, respect for the environment, the smart exploitation of natural resources and the creation of employment for the poorest. This will increase the income of producers who supply dates to VACPA and the productivity of the company. At the end, the project foresees the creation of a digital supply chain with a platform that allows to manage the entire system put in place. The project will be implemented over a period of three years from July 2020 to June 2023 in two regions of southern Tunisia: Tozeur and Kébili.
The intervention concerns the following components:
COMPONENT 1: Smart Environmental Management and Sustainable Agricultural Practices
Introduce and develop the best agricultural practices based on a smart exploitation of natural resources.
- Reduction of water consumption per hectare through the implementation of localized irrigation.
- Energy saving in the exploitation of hydraulic resources through the gradual use of solar panels.
- Reduction of date discrepancies due to the implementation of best agronomic practices.
- Continuous improvement of the quality supply of dates at Boudjebel VACPA.
- A Boudjebel VACPA team of 12 trained technicians to provide extension services and technical advisory services to farmers.
- 600 farmers trained in good agricultural practices through Lead Farmers and qualified Boudjebel VACPA staff.
- Funding of 300,000 $ will allow farmers to switch from flood irrigation to localized irrigation via MFIs. .
- Evaluate current cultivation practices, irrigation systems, tillage, fertilization, protection of bunches, preventive and curative treatments against pests
- Engage international and local agronomists to develop improved date production practices.
- Develop all training materials for the new irrigation mechanism and new agricultural practices in French and Arabic as needed.
- Identify equipment suppliers and service providers and perform an economic analysis of new practices.
- Develop business solutions to help farmers switch to drip irrigation, including leveraging the IFC/ENDA relationship to support farmer financing.
- Identify and develop a matrix of technical solutions using water and energy saving technology.
- Adopt the upgrading of the itinerary of agricultural practices in accordance with the new irrigation system and introduce the process of mechanization as much as possible.
- Ensure uptake of farmer manuals through training, coaching and regular evaluation, in collaboration with Boudjebel VACPA staff.
- Train the Boudjebel VACPA technical team on “good agricultural practices”, including early detection of pests and diseases.
- Collaborate with Boudjebel VACPA to develop best practices for water management across the supply chain and expand the reach of advisory knowledge on water management through appropriate channels.
- Monitor and review the performance of smallholder farmers and project beneficiaries and provide them with necessary information.
COMPONENT 2: Professionalization of ADGs
Improve the commercial and financial management skills of the ADGs to better serve their members on access to contributions, among other things, to the acquisition of agricultural equipment for mechanization.
- 14 ADGs trained.
- 10 ADGs improved their business management by 20% and their financial skills by 30%.
- 200,000 $ funding for ADGs through MFIs.
- 12 Boudjebel VACPA staff members certified as ALP (ToT) trainers.
- Lead farmers trained in best agronomic practices will pass on their knowledge to others
The project will build the business and technical capacities of farmer organizations. The project will roll out the Agribusiness Leadership Program (ALP).
COMPONENT 3: Digitized platform for supply management and payment
Improve and implement agricultural digital technology for sourcing, knowledge sharing and payment to improve communication with farmers and automate sourcing, traceability and knowledge sharing operations.
- A tested digital platform for procurement, knowledge sharing and payment.
- 12 Boudjebel VACPA staff members trained in the management and use of the system.
- Awareness sessions for farmers on the benefits and use of the system.
- Explore options for introducing digitized platforms for knowledge, procurement and payment.
- Pilot platform
- Develop and build the required capacities within Boudjebel VACPA and the community to implement and use the Platform.