A business delegation from the Dutch government joined 2SCALE program team members seen the results of this first phase of the program during their recent mission to the northern region of Côte d'Ivoire. The mission was initiated by the Dutch Embassy of this country, and the delegation was made up of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including the Côte d'Ivoire Desk Officer, the Policy Officer for Emerging Asian & African Markets and the Policy Officer Sustainable Economic Development. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency was also represented, through the private sector development coach. The project beneficiaries spoke about the progress made in their activities since their collaboration with 2scale.
First two vegetable clusters currently producing onions, tomatoes and zucchini were visited. The clusters have been in partnership with 2SCALE since June 2016. The main goal was to support these small-scale vegetable farmers, especially women to increase productivity. the producers, with the help of the project 2scale learned to combine their efforts and their means to buy the inputs and to sell their crops. They benefited from various training sessions (cooperative management, understanding of bank credit process, introduction to associative life); they benefited from networking with input suppliers and MFIs (which can help them obtain financing).
There was a strong mobilization of actors not just of farmers but also suppliers of inputs and microfinance organizations that supports them. During these visits, the small farmers, beneficiaries of the 2SCALE program, put emphasis on the progress of their organizations, the implementation of improved practices, and achieving access to local and national vegetable markets by creating better networks and as a consequence of all of this the higher incomes (specially for women). It is inspiring to see the commitment and motivation of these women to work together for their community.
Lastly the Bop pilot of Komborodougou was visited. They have been part of the 2SCALE partnership since May 2018. They are processing peanuts to produce peanut butter for the local market. By supporting the women in Komborodougou to improve the products quality creating a marketing strategy and setting up distribution channels, these women are now able to sell over 211 kg of paste in 3 months’ time.