Horticulture Cooperatives Development Project (HCDP)

Horticulture Cooperatives Development Project (HCDP)

Donor:  AFD

Project Budget: 6.4 million Euros

Project Duration: 3 years

Location:  Kabul, Parwan and Kapisa

Project Status: Ongoing

Project Overall Objective:

The aim of the Project is to increase horticultural production in the regions of the periphery of Kabul, to promote the quality and marketing of such production, to improve supplies to the capital, and possibly to increase exports and therefore contribute to reducing poverty.

In the post-crisis context of restructuring and weakness of the Afghan state, the Project should also attempt to produce direct and swift benefits for farmers.

To achieve this aim, it is proposed to enable cooperatives to develop and implement a strategy and a business plan, to constitute a cooperative development fund which could finance development plans for cooperatives to provide advice to farms and to strengthen the capacities of the support department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL).

 

Project Components:

The Project consists to four operational components:

  • a component entitled « support for strengthening capacities and creating developing projects for cooperatives, including a diagnostic of all of existing cooperatives » in the Chamali plain, with a view to better identifying the support necessary for strengthening capacities ;
  • a component entitled « establishment of a Cooperative Development Fund and support for implementation of cooperative development projects », providing for financing of business plans which will be prepared by cooperatives and detailed follow-up of their implementation ;
  • a component entitled « implementation of a programme for advice for farming », including training of advisers, and the establishment of a system of model parcels and follow-up of the reference farms ;

A component entitled « redefinition of missions and strengthening capacities of the Department of Agricultural Cooperatives (DACD) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and livestock (MAIL) », including an evaluation of the current resources of DACD and its requirements in order to define an intensive training programme.

 

Project Progress/ Achievements: 

HCDP component I: Strengthening the Cooperatives

  • Eligible cooperatives to be covered in this project are identified.
  • Inception Report: Completed and presented for final review by AFD/French.
  • Design a training program to strength cooperatives in management, entrepreneurship, and horticulture production. Program based on 41 “Certified Master Programs.”  Each Master program involves one to up to four day of training. Each event will train 30-40 farmers per coop. The target is to train at least 20% of all the members of each of the pre-selected coops.
  • Implementation of the training activities waiting for the AFD to release funds. Resume by the end of April. The cropping season is almost here and the season could be over before the training began.

HCDP component II: Creation of the Cooperative Development Fund

  • Manuals for the Cooperative Development Fund – CDF 97% completed. Final version May 15th, 2011.
  • MAIL defined the composition of the CDF Credit Committee.

HCDP Component III: Technical Advice to Producers

  • Development of training materials: Expected date completed: December 3, 2011. Level of completion: 22%. The project needs an educational material development consultant.
  • HCDP Work Plan. Activity in schedule. Level of completion: 90% completed The effort implied five activities:

I.      List the training issues to be transferred; 41 modules. 100% completed.

ii.     Define the outline for each training event to be tough every day. 100% completed

iii.    Schedule the training events in a universal matrix. 100% completed

iv.     Development of the text describing the work plan. 100%

v.      Development of a universal Excel files showing the events and the week of the month to be implemented.

 

HCDP Component IV: Redefinition of DACD and Capacity Building.

  • Strategic Planning workshop and proposal for new DACD structure. Activity almost in schedule. Expected date completed: August 30, 2011. Level of completion: 12% completed.

 

Challenges:

Delay in payment to the consultant (Flag International). Invoices presented by Flag since July 2010 has not been reimbursed yet. This has affected the implementation of the project activities.

 

Recomendations:

  1. The project need everybody support in order to reach the expected impact. Before a decision is made a consideration should be given on whether and how the given decision could impact the HCDP ability to perform within the crop cycles. Crops do not wait for sound burocratic decisions.
  2. HCDP must move into multi-donor support. The initial budget is not enough to support the level of support demended by the coops and the task to reinvigorate the DACD.
  3. The cash flow limitation encountered by the project must be avoided altogether. Lost time can not be recuperated.