5. Organisation of the Project
Our strategic partner FiBL will act as the Executing Agency. FiBL has got long-standing experience in the development of markets for organic agriculture through agricultural extension work, establishment of institutions, and market research. Furthermore, FiBL has got experience in the field of development co-operation from various assignments in India during the last years, such as being the Executing Agency for the INDOCERT Project (SECO support) and for the SDC funded Maikaal Organic Cotton Research Project. FiBL will assign the project management to Mr. Samuel B. Moser, who is designated FiBL project co-ordinator in Asia. He has a long experience in research and institutional development in Asia. For specific tasks, experts of other divisions of FiBL, especially of the Socio-economics Division, will contribute to the project. FiBL will be responsible for the management and implementation of the project and the correct use of all financial resources.
FiBL will render consultancy services to ICCOA, to the pilot projects and to the other project partners. The specific training for ICCOA staff members and selected stakeholders will be backstopped by FiBL and, if required, assisted by external resource persons. The market studies will be carried out in co-operation with the FiBL Socio-economics Division, and with Indian research institutes for the domestic market component.
Partners in India and their commitment
FiBL has undertaken an assessment of potential project partners in India. A shortlist of candidates was prepared and discussed with the Embassy and SDC Coordination-Office in Delhi in February 2004. The assessment resulted in a limited number of agencies which can be involved in specific aspects of project implementation and concluded that the International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture (ICCOA) would be the most suitable partner because of its range of services in organic agriculture it can offer, and because it is a central and neutral platform accepted by all the stakeholders.
ICCOA will be mandated on a consultancy base (sub-contract with FiBL) to implement the activities defined in this proposal, in close collaboration with and under supervision of FiBL. ICCOA will be the main service provider in India.
The ICCOA initiative proves that there is a strong commitment of the Indian stakeholders to the activities described in this proposal. The stakeholders have contributed through planning and building up ICCOA involving cash contribution of seed money of approx. IR 600'000, they have finalized the registration formalities, elaborated a business plan, prepared a web site and brochure etc. The Executive Director, Mr. C.T. Chidambaram, is a graduate from the renowned Institute of Rural Management Anand and has many years of experience in institutional management, rural development and agriculture. The ICCOA Board of Directors consists of a number of highly reputed representatives from Indian NGOs, private business, research and Government. ICCOA is the nodal agency between SECO / the project and the Indian stakeholders. A detailed description of ICCOA is given in Annex 3.
Specific expertise not available within ICCOA can be made available through ICCOA’s Pool of Resource Persons and Collaboration Partners. Suitable experts in the field of organizing farmer groups and setting up points of sale have already been identified and they agreed to collaborate in the project (see Annex 2). For trainings on internal control systems (ICS), the expertise of IMO Control (India) will be used. IMO Control (India) also indicated its readiness to collaborate in the activities related to input approval and has shown interest in making the standard setting procedures and accreditation system more transparent.
Partners in Switzerland
Considerable input is provided by specialists according to the project needs, including among others:
- The Swiss Import Promotion Programme, SIPPO, will be mandated to support the participation of Indian producer organisations at the annual Biofach in Nürnberg, Germany in the framework of its program in India.
- Max Havelaar has been asked to conduct a workshop and training for INDOCERT and other stakeholders in Fair Trade certification in 2005.
- The consultancy agency Dietler Clavadetscher, Chur was already involved in the need assessment (chapter 7. Findings of need assessment) and will provide services in the field of awareness creation and positioning of OA in the market. Mr. Dietler was the BIO SUISSE director between 1992 and 2003 and is, therefore, one of the most experienced persons in awareness creation and positioning of organic labels in Switzerland.
Project Steering, Monitoring
A Steering Committee consisting of two of the ICCOA Board members, seco (usually represented by the Commercial Attaché, Swiss Embassy), and FiBL (responsible project coordinator) will annually meet in India. It will be in charge of the initial selection of pilot projects and the annual selection of marketing initiatives for contribution (with consensus decision). Major changes in the planned activities and provisions of funds have to be approved by the Steering Committee in consultation with seco headquarters.
A market development project group will be established as an interface between the seco market development projects in Central America and India with the purpose of sharing lessons learnt, planning common activities and making use of synergies. It will include the seco and FiBL project officers and member(s) of the Socio-economics Division of FiBL and will meet about two to three times a year.
The Steering Committee is responsible for exchange of information and monitoring the development of the project. In a yearly Steering Committee Meeting, an annual report on progress and changes in the project programme will be presented and commented. FiBL reports the project’s progress and the use of financial resources to the seco Desk Officer (annual financial and narrative report). It is foreseen to carry out a joint mid-term evaluation (seco-FiBL) during winter 2005/2006 to review the achieved results and revise the project’s objectives and allocation of funds, if required. Towards the end of the project, an external evaluation may be mandated by seco.
Co-operation with the embassy in New Delhi:
The following tasks will be assigned to the Commercial Attaché at the Swiss Embassy in New Delhi, presently Mr. Jacques Derron:
- Monitoring of the project in India at least once a year, incl. participation in the Steering Committee meetings.
- Representation of seco during the “moments forts” (launch of trade platform in 2005, conference in 2006, international organic trade fair in 2007).
- Facilitation of the contact to Government agencies.
- Signing of the project agreement with ICCOA and initial visit to ICCOA (during the first Steering Committee meeting in November 2004).
- Assistance in getting the Prior Permission (under Foreign Currency Registration Act) from the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs.