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Mapping and Needs Assessment of Businesses, Business Associations and Cooperatives in the Rice, Maize, Cassava and Orange-fleshed Potato Value Chains

The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), in partnership with GIZ and the Green Innovation Centre for the Agricultural and Food Sector in Nigeria, is currently implementing the Strengthening Nutrition in Priority Staples project in four focal states (Kaduna, Benue, Nasarawa, Oyo). Ikore’s services were engaged to conduct a mapping and needs assessment of businesses, business associations and cooperatives within four pre-selected Local Government Areas (LGAs) in these states along the priority value chains (Rice, Maize, Cassava, Orange-fleshed Potato). Our work included the identification of the different actors within the value and supply chains for each crop, the technical and non-technical gaps that prevent the optimal operations of these businesses. GAIN anticipates that the results gotten from our assessment will inform the implementation of the Business Support workstream on the project, which will strengthen the value chains in the focal states.

Project Phases
Upon reviewing the expected outcome, we implemented the project in the following phases:

Phase 1: Project Inception
Built consensus on the scope of work and outputs of the TOR
Reviewed and agreed on the methodology, sampling plan, data collection tools as well as farmer Association, BMOs and others to be sampled.
Developed Project Management templates and scheduled meetings/workshops

Phase 2: Data and Information Gathering
Conducted secondary research on target crops, synthesized and analysed existing information on the selected crops
Established the recorded challenges to Accessibility (Affordability, Knowledge, Availability, Supply and Suitable products/services) and enterprise sustainability for different actors in the chain, particularly women and youth
Documented the technical and non-technical gaps that exist for the key actors.
Conducted field research, trained enumerators, organized project logistics and conduct field interviews
Pretested and finalised interview questions tailored to key stakeholder/actor questionnaires/interview guides.

Phase 3: Value and Supply Chain Mapping and Analysis
Mapped and analyzed data from the supply/value chains
Created a graphical representation of the target crop and its value chain
Created a list of the major Associations, BMOs and Agribusiness engaged in the chain and determined the barriers to access and sustainability for each crop, with location-specific nuances.
Analysed Technical and Nontechnical gaps faced by each respondent category
Analyzed intervention opportunities that can be supported by rank and priority of the business needs.
Identified groups/Associations and Organisations ready to partner with GAIN to address their needs.

Phase 4: Information validation, feedback and recommendations
Held validation workshop to present the analysis and initial findings
Updated our report based on feedback from the workshop
Developed a full research report, including literature review, methods, data collection activities, results, and conclusions/recommendations.

Our Methodology

Mapping Approach
The approach used was guided by the ToR and any subsequent modification made by GAIN and Ikore following co-planning meetings. To ensure high-quality data and the usefulness of the resultant research output, Ikore worked closely with GAIN to ensure shared understanding, at every step of this assignment. We consulted relevant stakeholders (as many as possible) to better understand the project’s context and get their buy-in while adhering to ethical standards.

We proposed a systematic approach that combines primary and secondary data, with both qualitative and quantitative methods deployed for the primary data collection. While primary data provided location-specific information on the crops, dynamics and nuances related to the nature of relationships and transactions between actors, technical and non-technical gaps, vulnerabilities, impact and opportunities, the secondary literature aided the understanding of the targeted commodities’ value/supply chains and interactions among the key players. Secondary data was also leveraged for mapping out the generic value chain structure for each crop. This served as the baseline upon which the realities on the ground were mapped. This also aided the preparation of relevant questionnaires to adequately capture field data.

Presentation and Communication of Findings
Our findings were presented under the agreed sub-titles of analysis using frequencies and percentages tables, charts, and graphs. Using a mix of tools, we represented the qualitative data under the agreed themes in the scope of work, including value maps to show the key leverage points and intervention nodes that may potentially yield the most impact. Following the prescription of the RFP, we produced a visually appealing 12-slide PowerPoint presentation of the findings showing the technical and non-technical gaps limiting accessibility and sustainability of the different respondent categories, prioritized needs and intervention opportunities. With support from the GAIN team, we organized a validation workshop after all communication materials had been produced. A final written report was produced and finalized with GAIN.