Monday, June 18, 2012

Horticulture Value Chain Analysis

Traore in San Jose de Ocoa
Doussou Traore recently returned from the Dominican Republic where she completed a Greenhouse Horticulture Value Chain Analysis.  She developed a questionnaire for a value chain analysis which she used to assist farmers in the areas of Constanza, Jarabacoa, and Ocoa.  At the conclusion of her visit she presented on value chain analysis and the findings from her survey.

Ms. Traore describes that one the main objectives of her assignment was to "bring awareness to farmers and technicans on the importance of value chain analysis as critical success factor in the development, efficiency and profitability of the farm enterprise".
Traore with medium sized greenhouse workers 
During this assignment Traore worked with greenhouse owners, local technicans, packing house owners, and storage facility workers.  The greenhouses were growing mini cucumbers, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Some of the challenges the producers face as Traore describes in her report include "very difficult marketing conditions due to the perishable nature of their products, the climatic conditions of the region and the small number of outlets available for marketing of their produce".

The different stakeholders were asked to provide information in the following areas: coordination (producers organizations, inter-professional organizations, extension services), production process (area, quanity, yield, post harvest losses); variable and fixed costs of production (seeds, fertilizers, labor, land, water, interest on loans, tools and machinery); marketing strategies (market information, contracts), marketing costs (transportation and freight costs, storage costs, information, etc) and revenue (prices and volumes in different local and internationa markets). The information gathered was used for summary case studies by area and presented back to participants in a power point format with the objective that they can make more informed decisions in the future using value chain assessments.

FTF  Volunteer: Doussou Traore, US Ambassador; Raul Yzaguirre, and FTF Rield Officer; Kalvin Bencosme
Traore emphasized the importance of continuous and complete cost and market data collection in order to have a complete time series. These time series will serve to conduct more detailed, accurate and frequent value chain assessements such as price transmission and market integration that can allow for evidence based recommendations. Time series will give the growers information to compare production and market conditions over time and across different locations.

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