Proposal by COSITA for Vanilla Value Chain: Increasing Smallholder Farmer Productivity – Tanzania



Increasing Smallholder Farmer Productivity Through Vanilla Value Chain

This proposal has been created by Community Support Initiatives-Tanzania (COSITA).


Project name: Increasing Smallholder Farmer Productivity through Vanilla Value Chain

Name of submitting organization: Community Support Initiatives – Tanzania (COSITA)

Proposed skill contributions:

    • Stakeholder Mapping and Stakeholder/Community Consultation
    • Community Capacity Building
    • Gender Impact Assessment / Gender Analysis


Background: Community Support Initiatives-Tanzania(COSITA) is a local NGO working with smallholder farmers and pastorals in Manyara region. It aims at improving their living standard through engaging them in development projects. Organization collaborate with the communities with the aim of attaining economic growth while fighting poverty. Since its operation organization had different projects which were implemented in communities including Pastoralists Land Rights Project funded by Care International through Irish Aid(2013-2016, Mwanzo Bora Nutrition Project funded by Africare through USAID(2013-2018), Sesame Value Chain funded by Farm Africa through COMIC Relief (2015-2018). Currently Organization is working with Women Land Rights Project funded by Foundation for Civil Societies focusing on land access, use and ownership to women. Organization has good relationship with the local government in terms of supporting the project implementation by using their experts and recognition of the organizations work in the communities, again organization do cooperate with other local implementing partners within the communities sharing experience and other useful opportunities. Also organization has multi-disciplinary team that is able to cater the needs of the project, the team is well experienced working in diverse communities in which team always try to attain best outcomes as needed. On the other hand organization have board of directors who always provide valuable contribution to the management team concerning project management through advises and support to the team.



Training development – Manuals and modules on good agronomic practices will be prepared to equip farmers with the knowledge.It includes on farm production, quality control, marketing practices, logistics management and post harvest processing which cover traditional curing of the vanilla.

Market linkages – Farmers do not necessarily have contacts with potential buyers and thus facilitation of connection between farmers and buyers is essential. Access to markets may include the education of buyer firms as to the business potential of sourcing from small producers. Establishing an ongoing relationship between the producer and the buyer, is a critical factor in the inclusion of small producers in the value chain. Training is required in order to improve quality and productivity. For example to ensure compliance with certification requirements that govern access to markets. Other forms of training can include financial literacy, entrepreneurial, technical, and other skills

Recognition of the importance of relationships – The quality of relationships between different stakeholders is a key factor affecting the functioning of a value chain. Strong, mutually beneficial relationships between firms facilitate the transfer of information, skills and services—all of which are essential to upgrading. Value chain opportunities and constraints generally require a coordinated response by multiple firms in the chain—which necessitates trust and a willingness to collaborate. The value chain approach therefore emphasizes a dynamic that has long been recognized: Social capital (networks of relationships and social institutions) are critical to business and competitiveness.

Learning and Adaptive Management . – Inherent in this approach is the challenge of working in markets that are dynamic and trying influence behavior that is unpredictable. Achieving successful outcomes in such a context requires continual learning and adaptation to know what is working and under what conditions.




Activity 1: Project launch and inception meetings at district and community levels
Description: Aims to bring on board all stakeholders and beneficiaries so that they can have a common understanding of the project as well as their roles to make project implementation successful. Stakeholders includes; – Government officials at district ward and village level particularly from Department of Agriculture, Irrigation and Cooperatives, Ward and/ village Agriculture Extension Officers, Ward Executive Officers, Village Executive Officers. The beneficiaries are Vanilla Smallholder farmers from the project sites. Other stakeholders are; – Inputs suppliers that includes individuals and private companies.

Duration: 0 – <2 weeks

Deliverables: Report, Workshop or meeting

Activity 2: Conduct a baseline survey

Description: Baseline survey intends to inform the Project management team, the donors and other stakeholders of the current situation before implementation, it will give the initial information (baseline data) that will be used as a method of comparison during the midterm, annual and final evaluation. Baseline data is very crucial to quantify the Project indicators before actual implementation and helps to set milestone and/ targets.

Duration: 2 – <4 weeks

Deliverables: Report, Baseline data

Activity 3: Identify existing and formation of new vanilla Smallholder farmers business groups (FBGs) in the project sites
Description: This is a study that intend to identify existing Vanilla Smallholder farmers business groups (FBGs) in the project sites to inform the need to form new ones to meet the target. Organizing farmers into FBGs will ease service delivery especially during the training as well as development of logistics management plans. It will also ease record keeping for example production and marketing information.

Duration: 0 – <2 weeks

Deliverables: Report, Implementation plan, Vanilla Smallholder farmers business groups (FBGs) data

Activity 4: To conduct need assessment study
Description: The Project team will conduct a study (need assessment) to identify existing knowledge gap on good agronomic practices and marketing skills among vanilla Smallholder farmers, therefore use the findings to design the training. The study will incorporate various methodologies during farmers knowledge test including; – Interviews, Key Informants, Checklists, Focus groups discussion (FGDs) etc. Training manuals will also be developed depending on the study findings.

Duration: 2 – <4 weeks

Deliverables: Report, Workshop or meeting, Good Agronomic Practices (GAP) Training manuals

Activity 5: Deliver good agronomic practices (GAP) training to Vanilla Smallholder farmers
Description: Good agronomic practices (GAP) training will be delivered to Vanilla Smallholder farmers based on the study findings. Training packages may include; – production, quality control, logistic management and marketing training sessions. From literature reviews, these areas seems to be setback for Smallholder farmers to reach potential yields not only for Vanilla farmers but also other crops.

Duration: 0 – <2 weeks

Deliverables: Report, Presentation, Increased Vanilla productions in a long run

Activity 6: Link smallholder farmers with agro-inputs suppliers for effective production
Description: To reach potential yield, farmers are required to consider good agronomic practices along the value chain. This involves access to inputs like improved seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. Linking vanilla Smallholder farmers will bridge the existing input supply gap by improving input supply chain. This will attribute to the increased Vanilla production per Smallholder farmer.

Duration: 0 – <2 weeks

Deliverables: Report, Implementation plan, Improved input supply chain through linkages

Activity 7: Training Smallholders farmers business groups (FBGs) on post-harvest, processing and handling of the vanilla beans by adding knowledge on traditional, superior Bourbon method of curing
Description: The post harvest handling training aims to incapacitate Smallholder farmers to preserve quality attributes achieved in the production and curing of vanilla beans. It may include maintaining temperature, humidity (moisture contents), gas composition and type of packaging, these are some important factors that determine bean quality have been maintained in storage.

Duration: 0 – <2 weeks

Deliverables: Report, Improved product quality including moisture content, and reduced post harvest losses

Activity 8: Train Smallholder farmers business groups (FBGs) on business development, financial management skills and market engagement practices
Description: The training will attribute to the improvement of business skills that includes negotiation skills and create confidence among Vanilla Smallholder farmers.

Duration: 0 – <2 weeks

Deliverables: Report

Activity 9: Support vanilla Smallholders farmers business groups (FBGs) develop logistics management plans
Description:  Logistics management plans for collection and transportation of raw vanilla to the market (buyers) from the FBGs will ease collection of the products and whole marketing process. according to COSITAs experience from Sesame Value Chain Project in Babati, It will serves time and also cost effective to the buyer, as all products will be collected at the identified centers for the buyer to collect and transport to the warehouse rather than collecting from individuals farmers.

Duration :0 – <2 weeks

Deliverables: Report, Implementation plan, Logistic management plans

Activity 10: Support vanilla Smallholder farmer business groups (FBGs) to attend local/ zonal agricultural tradeshows to learn new agricultural technologies and networking with input suppliers
Description: Zonal agricultural trade shows in the Northern Zone (Arusha region) locally known as Nanenane involves expeditions of different modern/ new technologies in different agriculture disciplines. It is an avenue that bring on board input suppliers from different corners of the country and out of the county as well. By attending this event, Vanilla Smallholder farmers will have a chance to learn various agricultural technologies along the value chain and replicate it to their farming activities.

Duration: 0 – <2 weeks

Deliverables: Report, Application of new technologies 

See SECTION 6: ADDITIONAL FILES below for Additional Activities

Project measureables:

Outcome 1: Increased Vanilla production by 40% among Smallholder farmers through enhanced knowledge on good agronomic practices (GAPs) along the value chain.

Outcome indicators:

    1.  % of farmers with good understanding on good agronomic practices (GAPs)
    2.  level of adoption of good agronomic practices (GAPs) techniques among Vanilla Smallholder farmers
    3. Annual volume of Vanilla yield per Smallholder farmer
    4.  % increase in Vanilla production, kilograms per acre
    5. % increase in Vanilla production per farmer (increase in average production per acre)
    6.  Proportion of farmers linked and have access to agricultural inputs 

Outcome 2: Increased household income of 1,000 Vanilla Smallholder farmers by 40% through increased yield and market linkages. Indicators:

    1.  Annual volume of vanilla sold per Smallholder farmer
    2.  Quality of Vanilla sold per Smallholder farmer (purity % and moisture contents)
    3.  % increase in volume of Vanilla sold per Smallholder farmer
    4.  Average price of Vanilla sold per Smallholder farmer (Tsh/Kg) v. % increase in Vanilla price (Tsh/kg)

Outcome 3: Enhanced gender equality and reduce income gap between men and women through inclusion of youth and women into Vanilla value chain activities. Indicators

    1. % of men, women and youth with good understanding on gender equality
    2. % of women and youth who are members farmers business groups (FBGs)
    3.  % women and youth who engage in Vanilla value chain activities
    4.  % women and youth who own production assets
    5.  % reduction in average income gap between men and women
    6.  % women and youth who engage in entrepreneurship activities

Methods of data collection:


Focus Group Discussions

Public Meetings

Written Surveys


Project Risks:

Anticipated Risks

Climate change-leads to more erratic weather pattern, this may experience long rains or shorter rains which in other way might affect the production.

Price volatility- price stability is an issue especially for the farmers which sometimes disappoint when comparing the cost of production versus price of the produce

Risk management strategies:

Strategies -Opt for the irrigation schemes especially for the near water sources or if possible harvest rainwater from the roofs of their homes collected to storage tanks and use drip irrigation or gravity water pipes when it happens water shortage to sustain the crops. -Developing secondary cash crops such as clove and pepper in the same agroforestry system would be an additional risk mitigation buffer to ensure a consistent income stream year-round. -Increase market responsiveness, information sharing system to inform farmers and buyers bridging the gap between them.


Relevant past experience:

Pastoralists Land Rights Project funded by Care International through Irish Aid(2013-2016) implemented in Babati District. Project aims at improving pastoralists’ livelihood through institutional strengthening, enhancing capacity on land rights, advocacy skills and participatory planning processes for the use of resources relevant for Pastoralism in Babati district. the project advocated for management of grazing land, opening of the livestock routes for herds to access pastures, water and extension services. on the other hand project advocated for village land use plans, conflict resolution, economic diversification and livestock breed improvement that are resilient to climate change.

Mwanzo Bora Nutrition Project funded by Africare through USAID(2013-2018) implemented in Babati and Mbulu District. The project had objective of reducing maternal anemia to pregnant and lactating women by 20% percent, on the other hand reducing stunting to children who are under two years age. The project promoted establishment of home gardens and small domestic livestock for dietary intake. The project also promoted complimentary feeding and hygiene and sanitation through tippy tap technology and lastly working with community health workers within the villages to provide nutrition education including 1000 days mothers.

Sesame Value Chain funded by Farm Africa through COMIC Relief (2015-2018) in Babati District. the project had three objectives, increasing sesame production, Increased income from trading for 10,000 SHF & 100 community entrepreneurs through improved market linkages and greater equality between men and women and inclusion of young people in sesame value chain activities. Currently Organization is working with Women Land Rights Project(2019-present) funded by Foundation for Civil Societies in Babati focusing on land access, use and ownership to women. The project is advocating women to demand land legally which increases opportunities for them to improve economies. Project also stresses to customs and traditions that limits women to access, use,and ownership in communities . On the other hand project create awareness to women on the rights that endowed to them which are legally acceptable.

Key staff experience:

Project is going to work with four staffs who are going to engage in daily project implementation. There will be Project Coordinator, Project Officer(Agriculture/Agronomy), Monitoring and Evaluation Officer and Accountant.

The coordinator will coordinate the project where the Project officer, M&E Officer and Accountant will be reporting to. Also advises Project Officer and M&E Officer on best ways can improve performance to meet project outcomes.

Project Officer will be leading the project having the background and experience in agriculture, responsible for running day to day project activities. He is the key staff collaborating with other project staffs for easy implementation of the project. Providing supportive supervision working closely with farmers to meet project objectives and proposed outcomes.

M&E Officer will be responsible for monitoring and evaluation to track project progress comparing what was planned and what was achieved. Prepares activity reports that will be shared within project staffs and disseminated to donors. Advises the project staffs on the performance of the project if they are in the right track. Propose innovative ways on how best the project can perform. Keeps records and maintain good relations with the project beneficiaries.

Accountant manages the grant.



Currency Selection: TZS

Upper fee limit: Tsh. 19,6675,000

Payment structure: Milestone/deliverable based

Reporting processes: COSITA will conduct project monitoring in quarterly basis, Baseline survey will be conducted before implementation of the project to quantify the indicators and set bench mark for each indicator as well as target. Baseline report will be used as a method of comparison during mid term and annual evaluations. In addition, quarterly monitoring will be internally conducted but baseline survey and final evaluation will be done by the external consultant

Desired frequency of reporting: Quarterly

Interest in follow on work: Contract dependent.


1. Rudovick Mseka

2. Paulo A. John

3. Philimina Faustini

Workplan and budget
1. Work Plan

2. Budget

Other files

1. Additional Activities