Essays on Value-Added Agricultural Product Market Development Grant Program Research Paper

Program Evaluation This paper examines the proposed program on the Value-Added Agricultural Product Market Development Grant program (VAPG). This program is being provided to producers to enhance their capacity to develop their businesses on producing and marketing Value-Added agricultural products. The proposed program is conceptualized because there is a perceived need of the producers. The situation was analyzed by determining what are the actual needs of the producers. The real income of the producers has decreased due to the decrease in unit production price and different products also allow for different market mechanisms. It is also believed that business success depends partially upon a new set of skills of agricultural producers. Therefore, it is but important for agricultural producers to create successful business opportunities in order to increase their income. Their available assets were also determined. Based on these the strengths of the beneficiaries were identified. What are the things that they can offer and provide. What are the available resources that they can make use of. What are the trainings and knowledge that they have that is useful in the implementation of the program. Along with this, there is also a need to identify their weaknesses. What are practices and systems that they have that could go against the proposed program. Aside from this, the program implementers need to determine also the opportunities around. The program might enhance their capacity to develop their businesses on producing and marketing value-added agricultural products. This will eventually expand their individual or collective market share. However, it should also be taken into consideration that threats from the outside environment might arise during or after the programs evaluation. The beneficiaries should be aware of this from the start so that they can plan ahead and establish alternative courses of action. In analyzing the needs of the producers, consideration on the vision, mission, goal was done. This includes their values, their resources, their local dynamics, their collaboration with government and non government agencies, and of course their competitors. A detailed evaluation plan will be presented which includes the detailed proposed evaluation activities. This will show the sequence of actions that describe what the program is and will do, how the inputs is linked to results thus an outcome-based evaluation. There are certain components for the illustration of the program action. Inputs are needed, these are the resources of the proponents of the program – their personnel, their time, their money, their research materials, and local dynamics which includes their tie-ups with other concerned agencies. Inputs on the part of the beneficiaries, in which case the producers, their time, their resources, their abilities, skills and knowledge, and their competitors. All of these will comprise the available resources, varying contributions and all the investments that go into the program. The output of the program will be the things that both the proponent and the beneficiaries do. It includes their activities, the workshops and meetings conducted and attended by the producer beneficiaries. The services that the proponents provide to the beneficiaries and the services that the beneficiaries provide to their community. The events and products that reach the producers such as the counseling provided by the proponents. The assessment of the on going activity and their progress. Proponents also facilitate partnership or linkages for the beneficiaries of the program. As a result of the program, the outcome will be identified. These are the results or changes observed after the activities are done. Changes could be in the individual producer, or groups, or in their communities and organizations or it can also be in their systems. The results of the program can either be their learning which includes the knowledge attained by the producer, how to evaluate their personal skills and capabilities, how to account for various resources that they needed, how to conduct their own market analysis, and know the legal structures and applicable government regulations. It could also be the changes in their attitude, the skills gained, the opinion obtained and added aspirations. Producers will be able to continually identify and learn new ideas from their partners, other producers for planning their business. Producers will be motivated to make changes and adopt sound business practices. They would be able to demonstrate how to produce and market value-added agricultural products. Or it could also be demonstrated in their actions: the changes in their behavior, the improvement in their practices, their new decisions made and policies implemented. This, in the end will result in the changes in their condition whether social, economic civic or environmental condition. Finally after the program the producers will be successful in obtaining knowledge and skills in production and marketing aspects of their products. They will be able to express satisfaction in their business operations. They were able to create successful business opportunities that result in their increased income. Aside from the input-output-outcome, assumption about the beliefs about the program, the people involved and the context on how the program will work should also be taken into consideration. Because from this, one can draw the plan well. Environmental factors as stated above also influences the outcome of the program. Program evaluation is a necessary step towards determining the impact of he program, to received feedback from the beneficiaries, share the program evaluation model and pattern so that the beneficiaries will be able to used it in the future after the program evaluation. For the VAPG the producers will learn how to produce and market value-added agricultural products successfully. This would be a measure of progress and represents a gain in knowledge. With the VAPG program assistance, producers will increase their income by successfully marketing their agricultural based products. This would be a measure of results and represents economic return on the investment made in the inputs of the program logic on value-added agricultural products production and marketing. It is not just a dream but the planned result of the entire program process. For the evaluation program to show the outcome, the results should also be planned along with the series of activities to be done. Program reports are products of a well planned activity so that the ways of collecting evidence are identified and that the evidences are collected appropriately. The need for preparing the map of the evaluation process arises. Planned results should be taken and turn into questions. Then identifying the evidence that could be used to show that the results were achieved should be followed. Below is a program map for the producers of value added agricultural products. Producer of Value-Added Agricultural Products 1. Do you have a better understanding of how to address the issue of producing an marketing value-added agricultural products as a result of this program/grant? Yes___ No___ Why? 2. Did you gain skills in the process of conveying the information? The model of the program? The evaluation planning and implementation? 3. Do you have a better sense of the issues to be addressed in an agricultural program addressing the production and marketing of value-added agricultural based product? Yes___ No____ Why? 4. Will you use the program as offered to train other producers? Yes___ No___ How will you modify it or what will you use for the training of other to assist producers to produce and market value-added agricultural products? 5. What part of the program was of the greatest use? 6. What part of the program was of the least use? How could it be improved? 7. What resources were of the greatest use? 8. Which resources were of the least use? How could they be improved? 9. What further assistance do you need in order to offer a further training in your territory to assist in the production and marketing of vaue-added agricultural products? 10. Other comments References McNamara, Carter. 2000. Field Guide to Nonprofit Program Design, Marketing and Evaluation. Authenticity Consulting, LLC. McNamara, Carter. 2007. Basic Guide to Outcomes-Based Evaluation for Nonprofit Organizations with Very Limited Resources. Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Measuring Program Outcomes: A Practical Approach. 1996. United Way of America. Value-Added Agricultural Product Market Development Grant program. Rural Development. South Dakota: United States Department of Agriculture.

References

McNamara, Carter. 2000. Field Guide to Nonprofit Program Design, Marketing and Evaluation. Authenticity Consulting, LLC.

McNamara, Carter. 2007. Basic Guide to Outcomes-Based Evaluation for Nonprofit Organizations with Very Limited Resources. Authenticity Consulting, LLC.

Measuring Program Outcomes: A Practical Approach. 1996. United Way of America.

Value-Added Agricultural Product Market Development Grant program. Rural Development. South Dakota: United States Department of Agriculture.