The virtual hub for Value Chain Analysis in West Africa takes advantage of the existing structure of the African Growth and Development Policy (AGRODEP) Modeling Consortium. Through AGRODEP, and with support from the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM), the Virtual Hub shares research methods and tools and delivers training courses on value chain analysis.
Two major activities were done in 2015:
(1) Recruitment of African researchers who are engaged in value chain analysis – out of 465 applicants for AGRODEP membership, thirteen (13) African researchers from seven African countries were accepted as initial members of the AGRODEP Value Chain Analysis Network.
(2) Training course on Agricultural Distortions and Value Chains – the course emphasized the conceptual issues and the applied, quantitative approaches of value chain analysis to four perspectives: (a) agricultural distortions and value chains, (b) trade policy and value chains, (c) Food and nutrition security and value chains, and (d) quantitative tools for value chains. The training course was held in Dakar, Senegal on September 1-3, 2015 and was instructed by Derek Baker and Emilio Morales (UNE), Luca Salvatici (Univ. Roma Tre) and Simla Tokgoz (IFPRI). Thirteen AGRODEP members (10 men, 3 women) participated in the course.
In 2016, three major activities and several AGRODEP Working Papers were funded or partially-funded by the virtual hub. These are as follows:
(3) AGRODEP Impact Evaluation Workshop – Ten AGRODEP members presented their papers during the Impact Evaluation workshop held in Washington, DC on March 7-8, 2016. The discussants for each paper where among the other 20 impact evaluation practitioners and guests from IFPRI, the World Bank, and the University of Maryland who attended the workshop. Papers on fertilizer and input subsidies, ICT use in agricultural markets, and farm programs were among the papers presented in the workshop which was partly-funded by PIM through the Virtual Hub project.
(4) Training course on Tools for Value Chain Analysis – Twelve AGRODEP members attended the two-part course that was held in Dakar, Senegal on March 29 – April 1, 2016. The first part of the course, the Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) was taught by Hazel Malapit (IFPRI) and the second part of the course, Introduction to the Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA), was taught by Sarah Mayanja (CIP-Uganda)
As part of the application process for the training course, an additional six members of AGRODEP were accepted into the AGRODEP Value Chain Analysis Network. This brought total membership in the network to 19 members.
The WEAI lectures recorded during the course were produced into four training videos which were made publicly available on the AGRODEP website (and Youtube channel) and on the WEAI website in August 2016. The videos are available in:
(5) Training course on Losses Along Food Value Chains - Twelve AGRODEP members were provided with the key concepts and issues related to food loss and waste along value chains and the methodological approaches employed in its measurement. Participants will also learn about a proposed methodology that accounts for Potential Food Loss and Waste (PFLW) along the value chain and its recent application to a few commodities, e.g. beans, maize, and potatoes. Maximo Torero (IFPRI), Monica Schuster (Univ of Antwerp), and Luciana Delgado (IFPRI) taught the course which was held in Accra, Ghana in October 17-19, 2016.
Of the eighteen AGRODEP Working Papers published in 2016, 13 papers related to value chains analysis and agricultural markets and trade were partially funded by the Virtual Hub project.