Landell Mills recently delivered a Training of Trainers workshop on how to establish, register and successfully operate Producers Associations. The training marks a landmark stage in the Sudan Food Security Programme – Rural Smallholders Component (SFSP-RSC) as the point at which farmers will begin to take over control from the programme’s NGO implementing partners in each state. The NGOs include Zenab and ZOA in Gedaref; WHH in Kassala; World Vision and Charity Organisation for Rehabilitation & Development (CORD) in Blue Nile; and SOS Sahel in Red Sea. Landell Mills is providing Technical Assistance to SFSP-RSC, which is a four-year programme funded by the EU. We are currently entering the final six months of the programme.
The workshop was a week-long retreat from 14th-20th April 2018 in the city of Wad Medani, which is on the west bank of the Blue Nile and 85 miles southeast of Khartoum. 31 prospective trainers attended from government, and international and national NGOs in Sudan. It was inaugurated by the Programme Manager of the European Union. The workshop equipped the trainers with knowledge and skills to pass on to the Producers Associations in their respective states. It also helped to strengthen the Associations’ capacity to operate effectively and efficiently.
Producers Associations are local, officially-registered groups of farmers or fishermen with a common interest in working together to improve production and marketing of their produce. The trainers gained knowledge and skills in how to use the specially-developed Producers Associations Establishment and Operations Manual towards setting up and strengthening Producers Associations in their respective states – and how to train others to do the same.
As a result of the workshop and the manual, a ‘training cascade’ has been put in place which will support the sustainability of the Producers Associations beyond the end of the programme. It will also ensure that the technical practices and market-based approaches introduced to them during the programme are continued.
Producers Associations cluster the resources of small-scale farmers and fisheries into groups to achieve the necessary economics of scale to engage with suppliers, sell their products in larger quantities and gain access to better marketing and credit opportunities. By assisting small-scale farmers and fishermen with their legal registration under the 2011 Farmers and Livestock Producers’ Associations Act, the SFSP-RSC has also made the Associations more attractive to the private sector. The Training of Trainers workshop is a key step to strengthening the capacity of existing and future Producers Associations.