The PMB has been working towards the institutionalization of policies that will foster orderliness and growth in the produce sector. The aim is to promote the optimization of the income level of all members in the value chain, especially farmers. However, the lacks of the requisite knowledge on the part of decision makers in Producer Organizations (POs) and Commodity Associations (CAs), farmers and produce dealers to effectively and efficiently manage their exposure to produce market volatility has made development in the sector impossible.
The International Cocoa Organization(ICCO) and the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) in collaboration with Produce Monitoring Board (PMB) under the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), Sierra Leone held its first Price Risk Management training workshop of trainers of trainees to improve the capacity of leaders of Producer Organizations (POs), and other stakeholders in the produce sector on how to manage their exposure to the volatile produce market and the elements to consider while going into contracts.
The aim of the exercise was, after the three days training, selected participants will roll-out PRM training to farmers, produce dealers and other stakeholders in all the major cocoa producing districts in the country.
The PRM training was a follow-up of the situation analysis survey and the one days PRM awareness raising campaign which took place in November 2016. The training workshop was hosted by the PMB and it lasted for three days with a total of 25 participants from Producer Organizations (POs), Commodity Associations (CAs), staff of the PMB and the media.
During the three days, the full package of the PRM training was delivered through power point presentations by the facilitators. Participants were divided into groups to ensure individual contribution and group work. Each day started with a recap of what participants were thought in the previous lesson and an introduction of the courses to be treated for that day. Before each presentation visual materials were presented to participants for them to be able to comment and raise issues as the presentation went along.
The purpose of the three (3) days training of trainers of trainees on price risk management was to provide producer organization leaders and other stakeholders in the produce (cocoa) sector with the knowledge on how to practice the various principles of PRM, and to help them with an understanding of how the commodity market operates.
The training workshop was officially opened by the Administrative Director MTI, Mr Maywheatther Thompson, on behalf of the Minister of Trade and Industry (MTI). Mr Thompson in his opening speech spoke about quality, and he encouraged participants to take the training seriously. He admonished them to take advantage of the opportunity because the principles of PRM can help them develop a strategy that will enhance profitability in their businesses. He stated that the importance of PRM in developing the capacity of small holder farmers and POs in the country cannot be over emphasized. He also stated that it is expected of participants to be able to roll-out the training to members of their organizations and even beyond.
The training was facilitated by Michele from ICCO, Susan Fog from TWIN Consultancy and John Fry from ICE. The training lasted for three (3) days, among the modules which participants were thought included risks, market fundamental and dynamics, contracts, financial book keeping, daily profit and loss, and futures and options.
Seeing that members in the value chain (VC) need to manage the “disconnect” between buying and selling, the PRM training provided participants useful tools that will help them in future undertakings. It was evident during the training that most of the participants were not familiar with the principles of PRM. By the end of the training it became crystal clear that the Roll-out training for trainees must be undertaken in the shortest possible time.