Financial Needs Assessment of Green Bean Producers
International Executive Service Corps
14h ago

Financial Needs Assessment of Green Bean Producers

Problem Statement

Kenya is the second-largest exporter of green beans to Europe. Beans are a popular cash crop for farmers of all sizes. Kenya’s success is based on climatic and geographic competitive advantages, market segmentation, investments in certification schemes, value-

adding through packaging, servicing niche markets and investments in marketing. G reen bean production is mainly dominated by smallholder farmers, estimated at 50,000 growers, who are mainly households with less than 2 acres of land.

The fresh bean industry, in general, employs 45,000 to 60,000 people, of whom an estimated 60 percent are women, in commercial farms, processing, and logistics operations.

It is estimated that nearly half or 44 percent of Kenya’s smallholder households are managed by women. Women are active at every point in the food chain and are often responsible for the household farming activities under which most of the green bean farms fall.

At the pack houses, gender roles become distinct again with women dominating handling sorting, grading, and quality control.

Men often focus on tasks such as land preparation, irrigation, spraying, loading and offloading trucks.

Overall, there is a great deal of po tential for green products to improve livelihoods of smallholder farmers and women already engaged as well as to engage new populations in production, such as youth.

Yout h engagement in export horticulture is ranked more favorably compared to other farm-level enterprises due to the high returns per unit area, short production period s and regularity of income.

However, these benefits are more skewed to the resource endowed youths who can make the larger investments required to meet Global GAP standards.

Ultimately, the gaps and opportunities through the green bean value chain need to be fully assessed with a focus on the engagement of women and youth.

Therefore, the Farmer-to-Farmer Program in Kenya is recruiting a volunteer expert to assess the green bean value chain and its participants .

The assessment will be conducted on behalf of a savings and credit cooperative (SACCO) so that the SACCO can better understand the financial needs of the sector.

The SACCO needs support to understand the opportunities and constraints in production as well as commercialization of the green beans value chain in Kirinya ga County.

With the information gained from this assessment, t he SACCO will support farmers to improve their productivity and livelihoods and seize more opportunities for engagement of women and youth.

Objectives of the Assignment

  • Conduct a thorough assess ment of green bean value chain in Kirinya ga County with a focus on the key actors , market access and demand, commercialization and engagement of youth and women
  • Identify opportunities and constraints for the value chain especially as far as access to finan ce and increasing income among the p la yers is concerned
  • Develop a roadmap for the SACC O to enhance financial inclusion for this target market
  • Provide targeted recommendations to SACCO for supporting value chain participants in executing the strategic roadmap developed
  • Tasks to be Performed

    A Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer will assist the SACCO to understand the constraints and opportunities and identify specific players in the green beans value chain in Kirinyaga county.

    The specific tasks of this assignment include :

    In the U.S. :

  • Review secondary data on the green beans industry in Kenya and identify stakeholders , including private and public sector
  • Identify through secondary data the opportunities and constraints in the value chain
  • Create a data collection methodology including interview guidelines and process for collecting and analyzing the data
  • Hold a call with the F2F team and SACCO to conduct a virtual review of assignment objectives and work plan and collect input
  • In Kenya :

  • Participate in orientation with F2F team in Nairobi
  • Hold an introductory meeting with the SACCO to finalize work pla n and activities to be executed
  • Conduct a thorough assessment of the green bean value chain in Kirinya g a County Hold interviews with staff of the SACCO to understand and further validate secondary data , on how the markets are organized, who the players are and the requirementsConduct k ey informant Interviews with farmers / tradersConduct focus groups with farmers / tradersConduct f ocus g roup discussions with other actors (inputs, technical assistance, transportation)Conduct key informant interviews with producer groups to establish thei r financial and non-
  • financial needs? What practices do they undertake (with a view of market needs), what is their internal capacity to ensure product quality and mitigate production and market risks, how are the information channels like

  • Analyze and review data and information obtained from interviews and focus groups
  • Develop an assessment report and presentation that details opportunities and constraints for the value chain
  • Present report findings to SACCO
  • Develop a strategic roadmap for the SACCO to support the value chain based on the assessment
  • Hold debriefings with SACCO, F2F team and USAID
  • Draft and submit a final trip report for assignment with recommendations
  • Note :

    The fieldwork will include focus group discussions and / or key informant discussions with both SACCO staff , target smallholder farmers and oth er value chain players .

    The number of discussions will be determined in discussions with the volunteer and the SACCO. It will also include observation / photography, transect walk, and drive techniques that will be applied to assess the physical circumstances of the target beneficiaries.

    End of Assignment Report and Other Deliverables Required

  • Assessment of green bean value chain
  • Roadmap to enhance fi nancia l incl u sion for the target market
  • A final trip report detailing work completed over the course of the assignment as well as recommendations for the host organization
  • F2F Programmatic Pesticide Evaluation Report and Safer Use Action Plan (PERSUAP) Requirements :

    Type 3 (the assignment will probably not have any pesticide issues)

    The volunteer shall review the F2F Environmental Brochure and be aware of F2F’s legal requirements regarding the provision of assistance for the procurement or use of pesticides.

    The volunteer shall not recommend or provide advice on specific pesticides.

    Expertise of Volunteer Requested

  • Advanced university degree in agriculture economics / development economics, agriculture development, economics, business administration or closely related field.
  • At least 10 years of experience in agriculture value chain analysis, a good understanding of rural development and private sector including market dynamics
  • Have a proven technical track-record related to agricultural value chains and rural SME development especially in Sub Saharan Africa
  • Preferred experience in agricultural value chain financing
  • Volunteer Outreach

    USAID and IESC encourage all F2F volunteers to participate in public outreach. An important objective of the program is to increase awareness of Americans’ good work in developing countries.

    Volunteers should select at least one outreach activity from the list below, to be completed within two months of return to the US :

  • Write an entry for the IESC blog
  • Post a photo, video, or text related to the F2F assignment on a personal website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter, or other social media sites.
  • And send a link to IESC staff

  • Send a press release to a local newspaper(s) in the volunteer’s home town. (IESC can provide a template)
  • Write something for alumni or professional association newsletter, or other publication. (IESC can help as needed)
  • Give a presentation about the F2F assignment to colleagues, students, church group, rotary club, etc
  • Send an email about F2F to friends, family, or colleagues.
  • Other
  • Description of the Program

    The International Executive Service Corps (IESC) serves as the lead implementer for the Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Access to Finance Program (2018-

    2023) to address deficits in the financial ecosystem hindering investment and growth in agriculture for individual farmers, as well as micro, small, and medium-

    sized enterprises through the delivery of volunteer technical assistance. IESC has designed a thematic F2F program to generate sustainable, broad-

    based economic growth and create jobs in the agricultural sector with a special focus on assistance to women and youth. IESC is joined by Grameen Foundation, with outstanding experience in digital finance and technology for the agricultural sector, to provide voluntary technical assistance and address the gaps in the financial ecosystem.

    Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, F2F initiatives generate rapid, sustained, and broad-based economic growth in the agricultural sector.

    These programs also promote international goodwill, understanding of U.S. foreign assistance programs, and private involvement in development activities.

    Through the F2F Program, USAID facilitates the delivery of a broad range of U.S. agricultural expertise using U.S. volunteers who work with farmers, agricultural support systems and associations, and agribusinesses, in developing countries.

    The work of volunteers helps improve the quality of the agricultural sector workforce through training and advisory services provided to a wide range of agriculture sector actors.

    Volunteer assignments are designed to improve farm and agribusiness operations and agricultural systems.

    Focusing on Kenya, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka, the F2F Access to Finance Program will work with local partner organizations and volunteer hosts to field pro bono experts from the U.

    S. agriculture, corporate, and banking sectors to address systemic capacity constraints for farmers and lenders in each targeted country and unlock finance for improved agricultural production leading to utilization of agricultural technologies and increased sales and incomes.

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