Designing sustainable horticulture value chains towards a food secure future

In October 2017, Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) in collaboration with Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), organised a two-week refresher course on sustainable horticulture value chains. The course was financed through EP-Nuffic’s Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and took place from October 2 to October 13, 2017 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Sustainable horticulture

During the two-week course, 19 practitioners (employed within the agricultural sector on education, research, business or government) from various countries in Africa and Asia, followed an interactive and participatory programme of lectures by course facilitators and guest experts, exercises & assignments, case study group work, excursions and a one day NFP alumni seminar.

The programme focused around the concept of sustainable horticulture value chains and pathways for development and transition from (semi-)subsistence horticultural production systems towards more advanced, efficient functioning and sustainable horticulture value chains. This sector transformation strategy, which is part of a broader Agri-food system thinking, intends to respond and adapt to current and future challenges such as population growth, urbanisation, emerging middle class, changing dietary requirements or environmental impacts. Well-functioning value chains can contribute to cope with these challenges and meet the increasing demands (and requirements) for sufficient safe, healthy and sustainable produced food.

Transition pathway scenarios

The lectures, exercises & assignments provided the participants with background information for deepening there knowledge and understanding of the sustainability concept within value chains and transition pathway scenarios, which they could directly apply in the exercises & assignments and case study group work.

Two excursion days were organised for the participants to several horticultural producers, companies and organisations. Participants got familiar with the Indonesian conditions and challenges, whereby the observations and lessons learned were directly linked back to the case studies.

For the case study group work, four real, and commissioned-driven, Indonesian case studies were selected. Indonesian organisations were approached and asked to bring in a problem case related to the topic of the course. Each of the selected organisations assigned a case commissioner from within their organisation and available for the participants to become familiar with the case. The participants worked in small groups on the cases going through the four steps of 1) Situation analysis, 2) Visioning, 3) Strategizing and 4) Strategic planning. The case study groups had several intakes with the case commissioner (either face to face or via skype) to discuss about the case.