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Overcoming key challenges of smallholder coffee farmers in Tanzania

The International Coffee Partners (ICP) is an initiative by eight leading European coffee companies whose vision is to improve smallholder coffee farmers’ livelihoods. The ICP wants to make them more competitive by basing farming methods on sustainable practices.

ICP is supported by Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS), which is the sole implementer of its projects worldwide.

In Tanzania ICP has funded the ICP Regional Project Tanzania (the project), which began in November 2015. The project sought to address the key challenges experienced by smallholder coffee farmers in Tanzania. 

These include: (i) low productivity of coffee and other food crops, resulting in inadequate income and food security; (ii) lack of education and know-how, as well as agricultural support services; and, (iii) a scarcity of professional and well-managed farmer organisations that can organise, commercialise and support the farmers.

Genesis was contracted by HRNS to conduct the final evaluation of ICP Regional Project Tanzania. The evaluation was guided by an evaluation framework. It was structured according to the OECD development assistance committee criteria of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability.

Based on the findings of the evaluation, Genesis provided recommendations for ICP to consider. These included developing a clearly articulated graduation strategy, beginning with a clear conception of when, or after what milestones, a farmer organisation would be ready to graduate out of the project.

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As part of understanding the project’s performance, Genesis also undertook a social return on investment (SROI) analysis of the project. Evaluation findings were used by HRNS and ICP to inform the strategy of future interventions in Tanzania, and East Africa more broadly.

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