Project Factsheet
Tools for » Strengthening the banana value chain through the growth of inclusive markets
Project ID:00067260Description:MDGF-2060-DOM Private Sector
Fund:
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 31 Mar 2009
Theme:
MDGF Private Sector Devt
End Date*: 13 May 2013
Country: Dominican Republic Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple
About

Overview:

The Joint Programme proposed strengthening the banana production chain through improved competitiveness by introducing new production technology, incorporating R&D, ICT, marketing for both domestic and export market, and management. In addition, this initiative increased the provision of social services, through public-private involvement, including: strengthened health care and education, particularly aimed at improving the lives of all those reached by the programme. All the interventions were framed in a growth strategy of inclusive markets which aimed to promote strategic alliances between large, medium and small enterprises.  It also promoted decent work and sustainable livelihoods for the poor.

The JP supported 7 associations to strengthen their management capacity and their ability to relate to other actors in the supply chain through public and private partnerships, which in turn allowed the incorporation of new productive technologies. These associations were equipped with tools to enhance the competitiveness of producers.

Pilot farms were promoted after the mid-term review, and these doubled productivity as a result of new irrigation technologies. The JP recommendations for the rational use of energy sources for irrigation and facilitated access to sources of funding at the local and international level, with many now benefitting from funding from government or private banks. Currently 57% of participants in the program have access to sources of funding, exceeding the target of 20%. 

Best practices in banana cultivation were identified and transferred to producers and production companies to increase their productivity, including for example the use of hand guards, which increased productivity by 30%, or the analysis of alternate use of the bananas, such as banana flour, jam, chips and jams. A Strategic Plan for the Promotion of Decent Work was designed and implemented.

With the help of the programme, the National Institute of Child Welfare of the Ministry of Education officially incorporated ripe banana in school breakfasts and trained small farmers so they can be suppliers. This indirectly benefitted 34,198 students with increased nutritional value. Health conditions were improved, contributing to decreased incidence of diseases like malaria, dengue, leptospirosis.

Banana production is one of the few with women producers.  The JP conducted extensive training on gender-based violence, access to credit and empowerment.

The experiences of the JP were used as a basis in the formulation of a new project formulated by the European Union for the banana sector. Various partners of the JP, both UN agencies and others, will participate of this new JP.

 

Outcome 1:

Increased competitiveness by incorporating new production technology and growing inclusive markets.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • 7 associations increased their institutional management capacity and their ability to relate to other actors in the supply chain through public and private partnerships.
  • Identified, disseminated and implemented at pilot farms, the most appropriate irrigation technologies to increase productivity from 1-2 cases per week.
  • Analysis and recommendations for the rational use of energy sources for irrigation were performed.
  • Through partnerships, and following the methodology of inclusive markets, associations are in contact with various sources of funding at the local and international level and are receiving funding from government and private banks.

 

Outcome 2:

Improve competitiveness by incorporating R&D, ICT, marketing strategies for the international and local market, capacity building in business, management, job training and risk management.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • The 7 associations were equipped with the tools to improve management, contact the international business world, provide important information for negotiations and meet market access requirements, such as traceability. These tools enhance the competitiveness of producers.
  • Through agreements with the Dominican Institute of Agricultural and Forestry Research (IDIAF) best practices in banana cultivation were identified and transferred to producers and production companies to increase their productivity through various trainings covering 1,200 farmers.
  • Promoted the use of hand guards, which increased productivity by 30%, the program distributed them to small producers and established contact between them and the distributors.
  • To increase the competitiveness of the agro-industrialization program, the JP promoted analysis of alternate use of the bananas, such as banana flour, jam, chips and jams. Manufacturers, producers and community were trained in different processes.
  • The programme supported the creation of 4 processing microenterprises led by women not contemplated in the original design of the JP
  • Developed and began implementing a new marketing strategy for the local market, Europe, USA, Canada, Africa and Asia which confirmed organic bananas as the main niche for small Dominican producers.
  • Connected associations with international agencies that finance sector. Currently 57% of participants in the program producers have access to sources of funding, exceeding the target of 20%.
  • A Strategic Plan for the Promotion of Decent Work was designed and implemented.

 

Outcome 3:

Public private participation in the provision of economic and social services linked to producers and workers in the banana industry.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • With the help of the programme, the National Institute of Child Welfare of the Ministry of Education officially incorporated ripe bananas in school breakfasts and trained small farmers so they can be suppliers. This indirectly benefitted 34,198 students with increased nutritional value.
  • The provision of health services was strengthened in hospitals, primary care units and through direct campaigns. Health conditions in communities were improved by decreasing the levels of incidence of various diseases like malaria, dengue, leptospirosis.
  • Banana production is one with few women producers.  The JP conducted an extensive training program on gender-based violence, access to credit and empowerment.

 

Outcome 4:

Knowledge management.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • A communication and knowledge management strategy was developed, which included the creation of a website and presence in social networks: Facebook and Twitter.
  • Participation in fairs to disseminate knowledge generated by the program, including delivery of materials and videos.
  • Outreach included programs for children and teenagers about the MDGs and the banana industry and talks to city officials about the socioeconomic importance of bananas in productive areas.
  • The experiences of the JP and its lessons learned were used in the formulation of a new project formulated by the European Union for the banana sector. Various partners of the JP, both UN agencies and others, will participate inthis new JP.

 

Best practices:

  • Leveraged various actors to work towards the same results. Having to go through the partnership for fieldwork served to ensure the coherence of the program and, in some cases, allowed for synergies and alignment between agencies.
  • Participatory management both amongst agencies and with beneficiaries.
  • The joint work between the public and private sector, business sector, women workers and international cooperation allowed identification of priorities and to narrow down gaps.
  • Through the training and outreach associations understood how health, safety, child protection, respect for the rights of women, prevention of domestic violence, prevention of diseases such as HIV and others help to increase productivity and competitiveness and are not only welfare related activities.
  • The most successful actions were those that proceeded in stages, building on previous findings.
  • The JP stressed continuity by maintaining the same consultant throughout a process, which increased trust and led to better results.

 

Lessons learned:

  • Involvement of all authorities promotes ownership and sustainability.
  • It was key that the JP operated under the responsibility of the Office of the Resident Coordinator of the UN System and not under a specific agency as originally planned. It was also beneficial that it was placed within the National Competitiveness Council.  As a public institution it increased its institutional and perceived impartiality towards government agencies and institutions.
  • Having a joint calendar to coordinate visits, training processes and interventions helped to avoid duplication of efforts and generated increased participation.
  • Most agencies and institutions and associations all agreed that the first months of a program of this complexity must be devoted to inter-agency and inter-agency planning and coordination.
  • Training of trainers and production of materials for training was key.
  • The technological aspects are very important for the promotion of business and knowledge management in a global market. 

 

More details can be found in the documents below.

Recent Documents
Key Figures
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Contacts

If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Dominican Republic or the lead agency for the programme.

The persons with GATEWAY access rights to upload and maintain documents for the programme:

  • Maximo Cabral, RCO Administrative Assistant; Telephone: 1 809 537 0909 ext 286; Email: maximo.cabral@one.un.org
  • Carlos Fernandez, RCO Special Assistant to RC; Telephone: 1 809 537 0909 ext 326; Email: carlos.fernandez@one.un.org; Skype: sarc.carlosfernandez
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