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Equipping sector associations and institutions to better serve SMEs in business development and export promotion

  • Strengthening managerial and operational capacities of TISIs: Key achievements recorded in Kenya include the continuous implementation and application of skills developed by staff within the EPC team, among them the development of new implementation frameworks, M&E matrices and activity budgets for respective divisions.

    ITC organized a seminar in Lusaka on exchanging good practices for the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), with the EPC and the HCD of Kenya. This was combined with training of TISI service portfolio management to guarantee that TSIs meet the needs of SMEs.

    Institutional strengthening and training of trainers: Key achievements recorded in Tanzania include the implementation of a new market development-training module by SIDO, the deployment of new strategies and constitutions for both the THC and AMAGRO, and the registration of a Spices Sector Association. This activity revitalized and focused the THC in its mission to build a vibrant honey sector in Tanzania, especially now that there is growing awareness of commercial beekeeping industry opportunities. With its medium-term strategic plan, AMAGRO now has a key tool that guides it in providing relevant services to its members and fostering the interests of key actors in the mango value chain.

    Furthermore, the Development Roadmaps for the three sectors (honey, mango & spices) developed by the project, in collaboration with local stakeholders, have proved to be living documents. The various roadmaps are proving useful for sector associations in attracting the attention of development initiatives to address the different value chain challenges. ITC is already using the roadmaps as a resource in project development for upcoming initiatives.

    For mango, the value-chain study and roadmap have been a great help to AMAGRO in charting out a strategy and implementation plan to tap the local, regional and international markets for mango. The mango sector roadmap has greatly assisted AMAGRO to mobilize its own and donor funds for addressing gaps identified in the roadmap.

    For spices, one of the gaps identified in the roadmap was the lack of a sector association/apex body for the sub-sector. The project facilitated the establishment of a spice association. A Dutch spices buyer was engaged in 2014 to work with ITC and a local consultant on a spices value chain analysis and roadmap. Several Tanzanian companies have since benefitted from selling to Dutch companies. Two years later, the same buyer independently organized a trade mission from the Netherlands - African Business Council that took place in November 2016.

    Key achievements recorded in Zambia include the deployment of a new strategy and constitution for Agribusiness Forum (ABF), and, the enhanced ZDA approach (including a manual) for project formulation and implementation for service delivery to SMEs in the honey sector.

    ZDA and ABF exchanged good practices with Kenya Export Promotion Council (EPC) and Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD) of Kenya through a seminar organized in Lusaka. The seminar was combined with training of TSI Service Portfolio Management, which taught staff of the institutions on how they can guarantee that their institutions meet the needs of SMEs.

    Greater international networking for the Zambian Honey Sector:

    As part of the project’s exit strategy, ITC introduced other partners who could assist in other areas beyond the project’s scope but are nonetheless crucial for the sector’s sustainability. Besides introducing the Parodi Group as well as networking local institutions to Kenyan counterparts such as KEBS, EPC and HCD, ITC also introduced the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) from Geneva (and Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) in Lusaka) to honey sector stakeholders In June 2016.

    The Wrap-up and Experience-sharing Workshop on Marketing and Branding held in Lusaka in June 2016 included training provided by WIPO on how the SMEs in the honey sector could register their brands / patents / copyrights / trademarks and how to protect them in the local and international markets.

    In addition, WIPO assessed the technological needs of honey producers and processers and made an appraisal of the broader sectoral operational issues. In particular, WIPO ascertained the specific attributes of the honey production sector including a mapping of the key stakeholders involved, as well as the practical facets and components of the production, processing and marketing of honey products. It is expected that this exercise will enable WIPO to undertake a project delivery approach of their activity and greater clarity on WIPO’s input and role in providing capacity building in the use of appropriate technical and scientific solutions for enhancing the competitiveness of the sector. The feasibility of these follow-up actions will depend on direct communications between ZDA and WIPO.

    Competitive Intelligence is now available to the Zambia honey sector: through the development of a honey trade information portal. http://www.honey-zambia.com/

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