Small Scale Coffee Farmers - Project Evaluation
Background: In 2006, Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and African Child and Woman (AWC) Features service jointly initiated acoffee project to contribute towards the promotion of trade justice in the coffee sector and to subsequently enhancethe dignity of small scale coffee farmers. In the last two years, BEACON has – with the support received from NCA,implemented the project through: advocacy for the increased participation of small-holder coffee farmers in policyformulation and implementation, lobbying relevant decision makers - especially at the national level, creating awareness on the reforms in the coffee sector and empowering smallholder coffee farmers through capacity building and institutionaldevelopment. The Evaluation exercise Between September and November 2008, BEACON commissioned an Evaluation of the project to assess: the extentto which project realised its objectives, the project relevance, and level of ownership on the part of the targeted small holder coffee growers and give recommendations on the project on the way forward. This especially in terms of the strategicfocus of the advocacy work, BEACON’s continuing engagement with the smallholder coffee growers and giverecommendations on the issue of sustainability. Purpose/ Objective: The primary purpose of the Evaluation was to review activities conducted over the last two years since project inception, document the process, highlight key outcomes and learnings and further, give specific recommendations on the way forward for the project. Methodology: The methodologies adopted in the evaluation included; - Consultative meetings with key persons including BEACON staff, Government officers and relevant coffeestakeholders- Literature review- Interviews using questionnaires, and- Focus Group Discussions Key Findings: In the findings of the report, it was noted that; - In relation to the specific objectives set out in the beginning of the project, BEACON had satisfactorily implemented 80% of the planned activities – limitation in staffing notwithstanding.- Further, the project had realized commendable efforts in its endeavor to reach out and mobilize small coffee farmers to participate and engage in its coffee advocacy initiatives.- Credible links had been established with key policy makers who were critical in the national policy advocacy relatedto smallholder coffee growers issues e.g. market access, direct sales etc.- There was need for continued capacity building to support farmer awareness raising and advocacy efforts.- Strengthening the institutional capacity of the farmer’s association remained critical.- It was necessary to refine the relative roles and responsibilities of BEACON, and the emergent farmer associationto ensure effective engagement with coffee advocacy activities and further secure farmer ownership of the process. Recommendations: The report recommended that follow up support activities should focus on the one hand on enhancing Beacon’s policyanalysis efforts and the related national advocacy engagements and on the other, strengthening the organizational capacity of the farmer association – KESCOGA (Kenya Small Coffee Growers association), to facilitate effective participation and involvement of small holder farmers at the grassroots level. Comments from Norwegian Church Aid (if any): NCA remains committed to seeing the Farmer association take on greater responsibility in the coffee advocacy activities and secure a sustainable mechanism of continuing to play this role. In the upcoming support period, NCA together with BEACON will be exploring with KESCOGA opportunities for linking the association to existing government programmes that can sustain its operations and involvement in coffee advocacy e.g. representation in the governing Board of the Coffee Board of Kenya – the regulatory authority.