This subfolder describes tools and documents that can be used to help Lead Firms structure and monitor the initiatives in their agreements with the project. As can be seen in these documents, a program’s technical support to the LFs extends far beyond financial disbursements and includes a variety of planning and capacity building activities to ensure that their proposed initiatives and investments are well prepared and executed.
4.1 Capacity Building of Lead Firms in Training
4.1.1 PPTs for LF Training of Trainers (TOT)
These PPT presentations can be used to help prepare LF staff to organize training/promotion events. They cover the basics of setting learning objectives, structuring session plans, elaborating schedules, etc. These presentations can be held with either one or several LFs at the same time.
These question guides can be used by project staff to guide LFs in preparing; a) promotion/training events and; b) demonstrations that they will implement as part of their initiatives.
4.1.3 Sample Session Plans for Lead Firm Training Event
Session plans document the strategy, contents, steps, and schedule that a LF will follow in conducting a training or promotion event. They are sometimes referred to as “training modules.” Easily adaptable to any sector, these plans allow the LF to effectively plan and prepare for their proposed events. Project staff (facilitators) can work with the designated trainer/resource persons from the Lead Firm to develop these session plans and ensure that the proposed event will be concise, coherent, and ultimately successful. Two examples are provided.
This sample session plan is for a training geared to contract farmers producing mung bean
For contract farmers producing potatoes for export.
For input supply firm carrying out training/ promotion events for farmers and retailers
4.2 Lead Firm Business Plan Development
This tool can help project staff facilitate/support LFs to develop their own business plans (for new products, new business models, etc.). It includes question guides that the project staff can use (during participatory work sessions with a LF) to ask questions relative to all the components of a business plan, and an excel spread sheet that can be used to document the LF responses and develop projected profit and loss statements.
This spreadsheet is part of the Business Plan Development Tool and can be used to document LF responses and develop projected profit and loss statements.
4.3 Capacity Building in Directed Procurement Models
This tool can help project staff facilitate/support LFs to develop or upgrade their supply chains and purchases from small-scale producers. It includes question guides that the project staff can use (during participatory work sessions with a LF and in conjunction with the costing tool spreadsheet) to ask questions to assist LFs to identify and develop “directed procurement models” (procurement hubs, collection points, contract farming) that are appropriate to their needs.
This spreadsheet is part of the Directed Procurement Model Facilitation Tool and can be used to document LF responses and identify the most appropriate procurement model.
This document can be used to assist agribusiness companies (interested in developing or expanding contract farming operations) to establish mutually beneficial outgrowing operations with farmers. Outgrowing operations can be instrumental in aggregating the production of small scale producers (outgrowers) so they can participate in larger, more demanding domestic and international markets. Outgrowing operations not only benefit producers through the improved inputs, technology and technical assistance that companies (buyers) operating such schemes provide them, they also can assist development organizations (DOs) promoting this strategy to achieve their goals of creating sustainable impact for producers and advancing the competitiveness of developing country industries.
This PPT presentation may be used as a guide for training/educating project or Lead Firm staff on contract farming models and operations. Contract Farming can be defined as an agreement between farmers and companies for the production and supply of agricultural products under forward agreements, frequently at predetermined prices. Such an arrangement also invariably involves the purchaser in providing a degree of production support through, for example, the supply of inputs and the provision of technical advice.
This document presents an agribusiness company’s strategic plan for carrying out contract farming – that was facilitated by AFE staff who took them through the decision making process during several days of work sessions using questions guides (from the AFE Outgrowing Manual).
4.4 Cross-Company activities
Value chain/ market system development programs include both “Lead Firm specific initiatives” as well as “cross-company activities”. Cross-company activities include periodic activities/events that the program can organize that target several Lead Firms conducting similar activities in the sector. The goal of these activities is to address common needs/interests of the LFs that will allow them to improve the products, services and support they provide to producers and related professionals servicing these producers.
In contrast to the firm-specific initiatives that are supported by the program (that are implemented wholly by the LFs themselves) the cross-company activities are organized/ implemented by the program (based on the topics of highest interest to the LFs). Examples of these activities include guest speaker events, exposure visits to identify new suppliers and improved products, policy/advocacy work, trade fair visits, lateral learning events for market actors to share experiences, round tables with financial institutions, etc. Ideally these cross-company activities can take place on a regular basis within a market system development program.
This is an example survey form to assess market actor interest in different kinds of cross-company events. It is taken from an agricultural market system development program but could be easily adapted to other sectors. It comprises a survey that project staff can administer with LFs to assess the kind of cross-company topics and activities they would like to participate in.