improving business improving lives

Project’s Portfolio

Over the years, the project portfolio underwent a process of concentration and focusing. Phase 1 started out with a rather diverse and mostly unconnected portfolio of generic business services and product sectors, both in urban and rural areas. In Phase 2, a first step was made by withdrawing from business services and starting to increasingly focus on rural sectors.

The second step was made with the introduction of so-called cross-sectors. Katalyst had identified the need to work in supporting markets like seeds (since 2007), fertilizers (since 2008), and irrigation (since 2009) to address constraints in its core sectors. This was later expanded to other cross-sectors like ICT, packaging, etc.

The last step was then made in Phase 3, when the portfolio was further focused on only three sectors – vegetables, farmed fish and maize – where Katalyst had been active since its inception. The concept of cross-sectors was further expanded to encompass entire thematic areas with (i) Women Economic Empowerment (WEE; incorporating the earlier gender activities), (ii) Local Agribusiness Network (LAN; by expanding the role of the private sector in the agricultural extension system), as well as (iii) Information Channels (IC; bundling earlier efforts with the ‘last mile’, i.e. access to information for small producers) with an overarching topic of capitalisation. In addition, the key topics of (i) inputs, (ii) farm practices and (iii) forward markets were introduced due to their relevance for all sectors. Organisationally, they were embedded within the sector structures.

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