Consolidation of the supply chain through strengthened partnerships between companies and farmer groups

The IFC consultative project aims to support VACPA in improving its supply chain and strengthening its involvement upstream in the date sector. The project as a whole must lead to the adoption of sustainable agronomic solutions, respect for the environment, the intelligent use of natural resources and the creation of employment for the most disadvantaged. This will increase the income of the date producers to VACPA and the productivity of the company. In the end, the project foresees the creation of a digital supply chain with a platform that makes it possible to manage the entire system put in place. The project will be implemented over a three-year period from July 2020 to June 2023 in two regions of southern Tunisia: Tozeur and Kébili

The intervention concerns the following components:

COMPONENT 1: Intelligent Environmental Management and Sustainable Agricultural Practices

Goal

Introduce and develop best agricultural practices based on the intelligent use of natural resources.

Impact :

  1. Reduction of water consumption per hectare thanks to the implementation of localized irrigation.
  2. Energy saving in the exploitation of hydraulic resources by a gradual use of solar panels.
  3. Reduction of date deviations due to the implementation of best agronomic practices.
  4. Continuous improvement of the qualitative offer of dates at VACPA.
  5. A VACPA team of 12 technicians trained to provide extension and technical advisory services to farmers.
  6. 600 farmers trained in good agricultural practices through Lead Farmers and qualified VACPA staff.
  7. Funding of US $ 300,000 will enable farmers to switch from flood irrigation to localized irrigation through MFIs. .

Activities:

  • Evaluate current cultivation practices, irrigation systems, tillage, fertilization, bunch protection, preventive and curative treatments against pests
  • Engage international and local agronomists to develop improved date production practices.
  • lDevelop 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 spot irrigation, including leveraging IFC / ENDA Relationship to support farmer finance.
  • Identify and develop a matrix of technical solutions using water and energy saving technology.
  • Adopt the upgrading of the route of agricultural practices in accordance with the new irrigation system and introduce the mechanization process as much as possible.
  • Ensure adoption of manuals for farmers through training, coaching and regular assessment, in collaboration with VACPA staff..
  • Train the VACPA technical team on ‘good agricultural practices’, including early detection of pests and diseases.
  • Collaborate with VACPA to develop best practices in supply chain water management and expand the scope of advisory knowledge on water management through appropriate channels.
  • Monitor and review the performance of smallholder farmers and project beneficiaries and provide them with the necessary information.

COMPONENT 2: Professionalization of GDAs

Goal:

Improve the commercial and financial management skills of GDAs to better serve their members on access to contributions, among other things, to the acquisition of agricultural equipment for mechanization.

Impact :

  1. 14 GDAs trained.
  2. 10 GDAs improved their business management by 20% and their financial skills by 30%.
  3. US $ 200,000 in funding for GDAs through MFIs.
  4. 12 VACPA staff certified as ALP trainers (ToT).
  5. Main farmers trained in best agronomic practices will pass on their knowledge to others

Activities

The project will strengthen the commercial and technical capacities of farmers’ organizations. The project will deploy the Agribusiness Leadership Program (ALP).

COMPONENT 3: Digital platform for supply and payment management.

Goal :

Improve and implement digital agricultural technology for procurement, knowledge sharing and payment to improve communication with farmers and automate procurement, traceability and knowledge sharing operations.

Impact :

  1. A proven digital platform for sourcing, knowledge sharing and payment.
  2. 12 VACPA staff trained in the management and use of the system.
  3. Awareness sessions for farmers on the benefits and use of the system.

Activities:

  • Explore options for the introduction of digital platforms for knowledge, procurement and payment.
  • Pilot platform
  • Develop and strengthen the capacities required within VACPA and the community to implement and use the Platform.