Provision of Value Chain Development and Training / Advisory Services to the Government of Lesotho

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In November 2020, the Lesotho’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security engaged IOS Partners, Inc. to provide technical support Project Management Unit (PMU) of the Smallholder Agriculture Development Project (SADP II) for the implementation of Component 2 – Improving the Agricultural Commercialization and Nutrition.

SADP II’s objective is to support the increased adoption of climate-smart agriculture technologies in Lesotho’s agriculture, enhanced commercialization and improved dietary of target beneficiaries. It also aims to address the challenges – identified during SADP I – in Lesotho’s agricultural sector, which are preventing Lesotho from increasing its agricultural productivity and commercialization.  Specifically, SADP II’s Component 2 focuses on the development of high potential value chains that would:

  • I improve the integration of a greater number of smallholder producers, 
  • incentivize contract farming, 
  • strengthen vertical alliances by building partnerships between farmers and agri-businesses and,
  • promote enterprise operations towards more lucrative domestic and export markets. 

IOS Partners specific role for this assignment will be to facilitate the execution of all three sub-components, through: 

  1. support for horizontal alliances, 
  2. support for vertical alliances and
  3. commercialization and improved nutrition with a primary focus on the small grant program.

Here, IOS Partners will be responsible for taking the lead in implementing activities directed at value chain support, development and strengthening as well as capacity building, and training with the aim of contributing to improved agricultural output and commercialization and nutrition in Lesotho. During the project’s 36-month timeline, the IOS Partners team of experts will carry out the following activities:

  1. Value chain support activities: finalizing/phasing the value chain selection and support activities, as well as guiding the work of the project team in implementing the support to value chains.
  2. Implement the value chain support activities, including, but not limited to helping establishment of farmer group/associations, assisting in establishing linkages along the value chains, providing technical assistance and advisory services to the agro-processors, traders, etc., involved in the specific value chains on technological improvements, new product development, access to markets, and other aspects as required to ensure successful functioning of the value chains.
  3. Provide training to training service providers (Training of Trainers) – comprising local NGOs, individual consultants, consulting companies, etc. – in the relevant areas, including: social capital development; business management; integrated production management; post-harvest and storage, quality, processing and marketing; on-farm advisory services as well as mechanisms for sustainability beyond the life of the project.
  4. Assist the SADP II PMU with the implementation of the commercialization/matching grants under relevant sub-components of the project based on experience and lessons learned from the original SADP.
  5. Develop a database of all trained Service Providers (SP) who attended the training and their scores (rates) to establish a rigorous assessment and certification mechanism for evaluation purposes and further engagement by the project. 

Over the three-year period, and with the help and close collaboration of the Government of Lesotho and PMU, and through the pre-selection of SMART performance indicators to help monitor and track project results and impact, IOS Partners aims to contribute to the increase in the number of smallholder agricultures beneficiaries and farmer organization groups. Additionally, IOS Partners also hopes to take advantage of its extensive international experience to enhance communication and expand the number of partnerships established between the various project stakeholders on the ground in Lesotho.

The IOS Partners team looks forward to commencing the project and establishing strong collaborative relationships with the people of Lesotho in the years to come to ensure their needs and desires are met to achieve long-term sustainable agricultural growth and nutrition at the regional and national levels.

Sebastian Rossiter
Sebastian Rossiter
Project Manager at IOS Partners, Inc. Project manager with 6 years of experience coordinating development projects in various sectors across Latin America and Africa.
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