Sustainability is promising when your partners buy in!
The measures, knowledge and tools developed and implemented by the Coffee+ project have been sustained through enablement of each relevant partners and farmers from various government and non-government sectors in delivering the mutual goal. The mechanisms include institutionalisation, collaboration, and capacity development.
Improving smallholder coffee farming systems in Southeast Asia (Coffee+ Project) is a regional public – private partnership project (DeveloPPP) implemented through a strategic alliance between GIZ and Nestlé in the three countries namely, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand. The project aims to improve the economic viability of 10,500 Small holder coffee farmers in the three countries: Indonesia (7,000), Philippines (1,500) and Thailand (2,000) through good farm management that are economic, environmentally friendly, valid and practicable.
To achieve this, the project approaches, measures, tools and knowledge are implemented through institutionalisation, collaboration and partnerships with national and local governmental and private agencies. This includes:
- Department of Agricultural Extension (DOAE), Department of Agriculture (DOA), Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC): provided recommendations for revision of Thai national coffee strategy, supported and implemented national coffee policy, facilitated development of Chumphon Robusta Coffee Roadmap, supported setting the working group/taskforce on fostering implementation of Robusta Roadmap of Chumphon.
- Faculty of Agricultural Economic, Prince of Songkla University (PSU): conducted FBS Training both onsite and online course for farmer and practitioner.
- Chumphon College of Agriculture and Technology: developed short course (36 hours) on Coffee Farmer Business School and established demonstration plot on coffee intercropping model.
In addition, the project facilitated and enhanced capacity of individual farmer, strengthened farmer group, and policy and stakeholder dialogue mobilizing various tools and means. These include capacity building on Farmer Business School (FBS) for trainer (Training of Trainers -TOT), farmer (Training- TOF – of Farmers) and farmer groups. To ensure sustainable utilisation of knowledge products, the project equipped all the knowledge and skills to practitioners in relevant government agencies and private sector, particularly the lead mandated agencies, DOAE and DOA. Besides, the FBS course are also provided to relevant staff at PSU, Agricultural colleges, Thai Coffee Association, and young smart farmer group. Eventually project’s achievements are recognized – FBS training modules/materials are accepted by DOAE and DOA which are the lead mandated government agencies in providing agricultural services to farmers in the country. Furthermore, the implementation of the Coffee+ project creates a learning space and demonstrates the translation of policies into concrete actions and the implementation of workplans at national and local/provincial level. The Coffee+ project supported the implementation of the National Coffee Strategy, and the national development plan at national and local/provincial level. The project worked with the Provincial Offices in terms of policy implementation by supporting grassroots economic development on agricultural issues related to Robusta coffee crop.
To facilitate the process and in supporting partners and stakeholders, the project also developed knowledge products, tools, resources and materials, namely:
- Trainers’ Guidebook on Farmer Business School (FBS),
- Training Workbook for Farmers on Farmer Business School (FBS),
- Best farming practices/ techniques to improve coffee productivity and cost reduction,
- Intercropping Booklet in English and Thai language,
- 2D infographic animation on FBS,
- Cartoon Handbook guide to FBS in English and Thai language
During the pandemic of COVID-19, the project applied digitalisation tools in achieving our goal. Particularly, to outreach the knowledge on FBS, through created learning alliance with DOA under MOAC via several e-learning platforms for farmers and general public in 800 learning centers at district levels across the country. Examples of platforms include:
- Government Smart Box
- DOA “Plant For U” Application for Android: mobile and tablet
- DOA Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkNKLHFrVE9zcNfJTv-FbmoCmL1RD_AdH
Last but not least, the following factors are important for accomplishment:
- Engage partners with mutual goal
- Build collaboration and partnerships with well-designed partners enablement framework at central and local
- Develop co-benefit & target audience & aligned common goals and program with partners
- Foster consistent communication
- Get partner buy in through:
- Demonstrate value of the program to partners
- Enabling partners join hand-in-hand with capacity development
- Provide partners with the knowledge/resources/materials they can use
- Friendly mentoring and monitoring process