Blue Gold Program as part of its Strengthening Value Chains (SVC) activities arranged three day long capacity building training programs in two batches for selected Input Retailers located in program implementation areas. The main objective of the residential training was to strengthen their capacity as value chain actor in providing inputs and services to farmers and also to improve linkage with producer groups who are associated with water management organizations.
Blue Gold program wanted to help input retailers expand their input business and make them sustainable by promoting the idea of input retailer network. For this reason Blue Gold program joined hand with AIP project of CNFA to help prepare input retailer to become members of Agricultural Input Retailer Network (AIRN). It was a successful example of collaboration between two programs, Blue Gold and AIP, working in similar areas with similar objectives. Blue Gold program provided fund and participants to this training program while AIP came up with facilitators and package training service. By this joint initiative, Blue Gold could show input retailers a path of sustainability by becoming member of a ‘network of input retailers’ as well as ‘fund’ for strengthening network in the form of ‘service charge’ to AIRN against their training service.
It was envisioned that by this training program, the participants could learn ways of means of expanding input business, will be encouraged in selling quality inputs, provide service related with judicious use of inputs without harming environment or causing problem for purchasers. Input retailers were also guided about improving business relation with potential customers by working with large producer groups e.g. water management organizations and field school participants. It is hoped that this capacity development of input retailer will have positive impact on overall performance of the value chain. Farmers will get quality product and embedded service from them not only within the project period but also for many years beyond that.