East & Central Asia


Program Design in the Dairy and Vegetable Value Chains: AFE led a value chain (VC) analysis/program design exercise with Global Communities (GC) staff in Mongolia in the dairy and vegetable VCs. Activities included conducting orientation sessions and field training for GC local staff, field interviews, end market assessments, VC mapping, identification of constraints and corresponding market-based solutions, focus group discussions, invitations for applications (to solicit initiatives from targeted Lead Firms), and the identification of program facilitation strategies. (2014)

Value Chain Selection and Program Design: AFE completed a value chain program design exercise for the pork value chain for CHF Mongolia. AFE led a team to conduct an assessment of the pork industry and identify of interventions to increase incomes of farmers and market actors throughout the value chain. (2007)


STRIVE Philippines: AFE implemented a 4 year, $2.8 million USAID project to facilitate innovative trade and investment initiatives and conduct private sector capacity building in order to promote sustainable benefits for vulnerable producers and their families. AFE works with some of the leading export companies in the country-helping them to expand their markets and develop/expand their network of producers in response to growing demand from new and existing trade partners worldwide. (2008-2012)

The following are illustrative AFE program activities conducted under STRIVE Philippines:

  • Training of trainers - AFE has worked with craft export and agribusiness companies to build the capacity of their staff to provide quality training to producers they source from.
  • Learning Activities to Increase Market Awareness - AFE provided strategic in-country workshops, seminars, and one-on-one consultations with international specialists for participating export companies in order to improve their understanding and develop new clients and products for the U.S. market. Topics covered during these technical trainings and consultations included merchandising, marketing, and product development.
  • Trade Show Participation - AFE expanded market access for participating exporters to attend major trade show. At the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF), AFE arranged meetings for exporters with more than 50 buyers from 30 targeted companies to further research market opportunities. The results of this intervention were so positive for both the export companies and importers that NYIGF organizers plan to conduct similar buyer-seller events on their own at future shows.
  • Reverse Trade Missions - Based on relationships developed at trade shows, reverse trade missions to the Philippines were facilitated for major US importers and designers of home décor products. As a result of their ability to follow-up with exporters and conduct in-country inspection of their design/production capacities, several container orders were placed to date.
  • Facilitating Cross-Company Coordination - AFE coordinated its activities closely with local associations that played a key role in identifying the needs of their members and creating a platform for collaboration, including: Philexport Cebu; Cebu Gifts, Toys, and Housewares Association; Philippine Chamber of Handicraft Industries; etc.
  • Marketing, Merchandising and Product Development Program - This four-month program was designed to increase the competitiveness and market access of export companies - translating into greater sales, income and employment opportunities for the low income producers they source from. The program consisted of cross company workshops in "US Market Trends", "Product Development", and "Approaching Your Customers", and intensive one-on-one mentoring. Companies made a significant cost share contribution (approximately $3,000 per company to participate in the full program). Results included new product designs, export collections, and strategies designed to target higher value markets and remain competitive in a demanding market.

As a result, approximately 10,000 producers and their families (including 5,800 weavers and raw material collectors) have benefited from project activities. Through AFE supported activities, over $500,000 was generated in new sales by collaborating LFs and nearly $1.5 million was anticipated in the following two years. In addition, over $4.3 million in total annual purchases from rural producers/suppliers was made by woven product companies - a primary source of supplemental income for most of these households.

Seaweed: Used a value chain approach AFE identified constraints to growth and competitiveness of the seaweed sector in the Philippines and then identified and assessed market-based solutions to these constraints. Based on this AFE assisted private trading companies to develop nurseries that enabled them to provide needed seedlings (on credit) to the farmers they source from, resulting in increased revenues.

Tourism: AFE built the capacity of local private sector tour operators to engage rural communities and develop/promote related tourism products and services on one of the poorest islands in Cebu. Local residents were involved as site guides and demonstrators of local livelihoods, transporters, food service and supply, and interpreters. With AFE technical and cost-share support, local tour operators now have a private sector-based model for development of rural community-based product lines.

Assessment of Seaweed/Carrageenan Value Chain: Contracted by the IFC and GTZ, AFE conducted an assessment of the Philippine seaweed/carrageenan value chain. The objectives of this assessment were to: 1) refine strategies to support a robust and sustainable Philippine seaweed/carrageenan value chain; and 2) propose a possible framework for the development of the value chain. The program promotes more cooperative relations between seaweed producers and wholesaler/intermediaries who supply large processors in one of the Philippines most important industries. (2007 - 2008)

Value Chain Selection and Initial Assessment: Completed a value chain program design exercise for the live hog value chain in Iloilo and Oriental Negros for World Vision Philippines. Conducted an assessment of the live hog sector and proposed interventions to increase incomes of small hog raisers and market actors in the value chain. (2007)


Value Chain Assessments: AFE conducted an assessment of the maize, peanut, soybean, and mungbean value chains in Eastern Indonesia in conjunction with the "Analyzing Agribusiness Development Opportunities in Eastern Indonesia" program. The aim of this program was to analyze agricultural commodity value chains and identify private sector agribusiness development opportunities with the most potential to increase incomes of poor men and women in Eastern Indonesia. The results contributed to the development of the DFAT-funded program AIPD-Rural project. (2012)

Value Chain Program Design for World Vision in Banda Aceh, Indonesia: Led local World Vision (WV) teams in conducting a four-week value chain selection exercise and subsequent VC analysis/ program design exercises in the patchouli oil and fresh fish value chains. Ranked prospective value chains, conducted interviews with market actors and key informants, developed value chain maps, indentified constraints and potential market-based solutions, and facilitated participatory process with private sector actors to identify program interventions. (2009)

Value Chain Assessment of Cocoa: AFE led a team to conduct a value chain assessment of cocoa in Indonesia. Value chain analysis tools were applied to determine the major constraints and opportunities to growth and expansion of the cocoa bean sector in Indonesia (primarily Sulawesi). Proposed strategies to mitigate constraints and assessed current public and private sector investments to support cocoa in Indonesia. (2004)


Local Capacity Building and Program Design in Cao Bang: With funding from Luxemburg Development, AFE conducted training on the value chain approach and mentored a local team in a value chain program design exercise for the black pork. The objective was to build the capacity of Cao Bang provincial project management and other local agencies to more effectively apply a market driven approach to their current and future value chain programs. (2010)

Value Chain Program Design for Village-Based Tourism and Crafts in Vietnam: AFE carried out a program design exercise for SNV that included: 1) the prioritization of value chains with the potential to promote market growth and benefit large numbers of the poor in Sapa District (village-based tourism and crafts were selected); 2) value chain analysis; 3) identification and assessment of market-based solutions (including focus group discussions with market actors) and; 4) the identification of program facilitation activities. (2008)


Promotion of Eco-Tourism and Craft Markets with Tibetans in Yunnan Province, China: AFE supported local tour operators, pottery retailers and other stakeholders to identify and implement initiatives to build their competitiveness and upgrade the skills of Tibetan eco-tourism and black pottery producers and entrepreneurs. Initiatives supported in in the eco-tourism sector included: 1) training of local tour guides in basic first aid, wilderness first responder skills, botany, and geology; 2) development of horsemanship entrepreneurs; 2) planning and implementation of trail renovations and family home renovations to accommodate tourist guests, and; 3) support to local Botanical Garden to develop botany handbook and training program for local tour guides. Initiatives supported in in the pottery value chain included: 1) English language training for pottery retailers; 2) development of promotional brochures for retail companies; 3) new pottery product development to meet market demands; 4) development of new packaging and shipping strategies; 5) identification of financing opportunities, and; 6) study tour to visit retailers and artisans with more advanced operations. More than 500 producers and entrepreneurs benefitted from these activities. (August 2006, January 2007 - June 2008)

Assessment of Yak Dairy Industry in Sichuan Province: AFE assessed the feasibility of a proposed partnership between a new USAID-funded project and a local yak dairy company on the Tibet Plateau in Sichuan Province (2006)

Value Chain Selection in Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces: AFE led various teams to identify value chains in northwest Yunnan and Sichuan provinces with unmet market demand and capacity to bring benefit to ethnic Tibetans. AFE provided technical oversight of the overall process, which conducted over 90 interviews with businesses and key informants in the agribusiness, crafts, and tourism sectors. Findings of these assessments were used in the start-up of a new program implemented by The Mountain Institute (TMI) (2005)


Value Chain Analyses: AFE provided technical oversight and leadership on a series of value chain assessments of cashews, fisheries, pork, agricultural machinery, and bricks/tile in four eastern provinces of Cambodia as part of the design process for DAI's Micro, Small, and Medium-scale Enterprise (MSME) Support Program. Also served as Team Leader for a value chain analysis of cashews in Cambodia-identified major constraints and opportunities in the value chain, and proposed illustrative interventions to support market solutions to increase MSME growth and competitiveness. (2006)


Technical Assistance to the Peak Enterprise Development Program in Tibet: Conducted value chain analysis/program design exercises with the milk, butter, and construction sectors in and around Lhasa. Identified commercially viable solutions, organized focus group meetings, and contributed to work plans for program implementation. (2002-2007)


Value Chain Selection and Analysis of Medicinal Herbs: conducted a value chain selection exercise with the FAO's Mountain Group for a pilot enterprise development project targeting mountain communities in Kyrgyzstan. Value chains explored included medicinal herbs, honey, community-based tourism and agribusinesses. Medicinal herbs were then selected and analyzed for further program design (2005)


Value Chain Analyses of Coconut and Construction – AFE provided guidance and support to two teams of long- and short-term advisors conducting value chain analyses for a $6 million USAID-funded private sector development program (BASAR) in East Timor. In collaboration with DAI Inc., assessments of the coconut and construction value chains were completed and submitted as part of the detailed first year work plan (Aug – Oct 2005)

Analysis of Enterprise Development Opportunities - As part of a multi-disciplinary team, AFE identified opportunities to improve the policy environment, expand access to rural financial markets, and improve the quality and relevance of business solutions to the private sector in East Timor. AFE consulted with USAID East Timor, private sector leaders, key government officials, and other development organizations. (Oct – Nov 2003)

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