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What have we been up to around the globe?

19 December 2018
What have we been up to around the globe?

The year 2018 was a busy and productive one for Prime’s hardworking and expanding team. Here’s a round-up of what we’ve been up to around the globe.

Right: Zambia Dairy Transformation Programme Extension Officer Chrispine Banda — one of 70 local nationals working across all our projects in 2018.

Prime Consulting International Ltd is currently leading or consulting on international development projects in Africa, Fiji and the United Arab Emirates, as well as providing technical assistance and operational support for two projects in Afghanistan.

Our strengthened focus in Africa started with the Zambia Dairy Transformation Programme (ZDTP) and the Ethiopia Dairy Development Activity (EDDA), both funded by the New Zealand Government.

As lead consultant for these programmes, which started in 2016, we’ve been drawing on New Zealand expertise to better both countries’ dairy farming systems – from introducing new fodder production techniques to building the capacity of existing dairy farming cooperatives and advising on industry governance.

There’s also a strong focus on market development, which involves improving both the quality and quantity of milk for commercial sale.

The dairy sector in Africa provides tremendous opportunities for improved nutrition, food security and livelihoods of farming families. Linking small holder farmers to growing urban markets is a win-win approach to meeting increased dairy product demand from consumers and at the same time, providing a valued year-round source of cash for rural households that otherwise struggle to pay for basic needs.

Above: Farmers using a mechanized chopper in Zambia.

On top of our work with the ZDTP and EDDP in Africa, we were also contracted to do some work in Rwanda this year.

Led by the Rwanda Development Board, with funding from USAID, we completed a feasibility study to determine the business model and implementation plan for an integrated beef and goat farm-to-market operation on a 6000-hectare block of land owned by the Government in the Bugesera District of Kigali Province in Rwanda.

The site is currently farmed by a mix of entities, including farmer cooperatives, the army pension fund and private business entrepreneurs, who have jointly entered into agreements with the Government to develop the project as a public-private partnership.

This project has strong potential to bring modern processing and farming techniques into a sector which has been a very traditional one, thereby driving increased profitability for those involved and creating strong economic value added. The approach being recommended is a holistic one that will integrate operations across the entire value chain from farm to market.

We’re continuing our work in Afghanistan, following the completion of the Afghanistan Agricultural Support Programme (ASP) in 2017.

In 2018, we provided project management support and technical expertise to the Arghandab Integrated Water Resources Project.

Funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), this project aims to improve the availability and use of water resources for irrigated agriculture and livestock fodder production, urban water supply and power generation in Kandahar Province. Our services included supporting the delivery of three feasibility study reports for power development, water supply and irrigation development. We also provided financial analysis and security/risk management assistance.

Above: Flying into Kabul.

We’re also currently providing technical and operational management support for the Afghanistan Value Chains–Livestock (AVC-Livestock) project, which is a three-year initiative being led by United States-based firm Development Alternatives Inc and funded by USAID.

AVC-Livestock is supporting the sustained growth of several private-sector anchor firms in the poultry, small ruminants, dairy and other livestock value chains across Afghanistan. The aim is to, through the growth of the anchor firms, strengthen the value chains themselves, with direct benefits to thousands of rural households.

We’re bringing international technical resources to the initiative, in conjunction with Texas A&M University, particularly in relation to animal health and veterinarian training, nutrition, animal husbandry, extension services, food safety, processing, private sector business acumen and livestock product marketing. In addition, we are providing a well-qualified field force of local national staff deployed across the four operational regions of the project to work with the local anchor firms day to day and help them with their growth and sustainability plans.

Also in 2018, we carried out an independent assessment of a proposed international development programme in Afghanistan for the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). Our recommendations regarding that programme have since been implemented.

These initiatives collectively reinforce our ongoing commitment to Afghanistan’s continuing development, notwithstanding the ongoing security challenges.

In 2018, we also commenced Phase II of the Fiji Dairy Industry Development Initiative (FDIDI). This activity, which runs through until 2020, aims to strengthen the sustainability of the dairy industry value chain, with a particular focus on the smallholder farming sector. Key components include building capacity of farm extension services, improving cattle nutrition and husbandry, milk quality assurance, data management, control of important diseases and strengthening industry governance. The FDIDI is funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme.

Above: Workers driving a post in Fiji.

Finally, to round out the year, we have recently completed a feasibility assessment for a large-scale commercial sheep farming operation in the United Arab Emirates. A decision is now awaited on project implementation.

Across all our work and projects in 2018, we’re proud that more than 70 per cent of our team members were local nationals, with the rest being either members of Prime HQ in New Zealand, Australia, the United Arab Emirates or independent consultants of other nationalities. Our strong emphasis on local national staff reflects one of our key values, which is leaving a legacy of increased knowledge, skills and capacity in our partner countries.

For further information on our work and any enquiries on how we may be able to assist your business, programme or enterprise, please feel free to contact us on mail@primeconsultants.net.