FIELD REPORT – Purchase for Progress – Market Link (non-govt. agency) Mission to Hai, Manyara and Arusha Districts
Dates: June 19th-28th, 2012
Willbroad Karugaba, Purchase for Progress, Senior Programme Assistant
Masasa Makwassa, Market Link Co-ordinator – Arusha
WA Dawson, P4P Field Monitor – Arusha
Abel Peter, WFP Driver, Arusha
To Review the history, goals, and future direction of Purchase for Progress
To Introduce Market Link to Producers and to the Regional Districts
To Explain and Sign Forward Contracts for the purchase of maize
To Obtain a four year profile of each Savings and Loans Society (2009-2012)
To Communicate well ahead of time the agenda and date of the next Grower-Regional District workshop
Activities & Observations:
Day long meetings were held with each Savings and Loans Society and their Regional District Representatives. Willbroad Karugaba and Masasa Makwassa each gave 35 – 40 minute presentations which were followed by an unhurried, thorough question, answer, and discussion period. Everyone had ample opportunity to explore the issues presented. Much debate centred on Savings, Loans and Marketing. There was an average of 30 participants at each meeting with Willbroad and Masasa fielding an average of 22 questions. The discussion periods lasted between one to two hours.
After lunch, the Regional Representatives left the meeting and Willbroad explained the Forward Contracts, fielding all questions prior to the formal signing. All Grower Groups in Manyara and Arusha Districts, apart from Meqbami Growers, who were not being offered a contract at this time, signed. As the harvest is later in Hai District, both the Kwares and Jitegmee Growers will have the same opportunity at a later date.
Masasa distributed Producer Profile forms and explained the need to improve communication. He also remunerated all participants and indicated the schedule and agenda of his next engagement. His plan is to work closely with the Districts during a day of training and then to have these representatives inform and instruct their growers during a further two day workshop. The principle focus will be on the formal set up and management of Marketing Organisations.
In between each meeting Willbroad and Masasa wrote their reports on each day’s events.
Communication is difficult with farmers far from the Country Office and the Arusha sub-office and, with only two groups with Internet access, it is necessary to have such productive field visits on a regular basis. It was particularly astute and necessary to bring Farmers and their Regional Representatives together in one room to listen to each other and to plan for future collaboration.
I was impressed with how democratic the meetings were, how much respectful listening went on and how many women and men contributed their voices.