CoGent Network

IFAD Technical Advisory Notes

What are the IFAD Technical Advisory Notes (TANs)?

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) requires that every recipient of an IFAD grant writes a TAN. TANs are tools for promoting pro-poor technologies and knowledge-sharing that bridge the gap between research and practice and provide information for inclusion in loan programmes and project design. They are a sort of leaflets designed to introduce new, pro-poor technologies to a wider development community in the form of advice matched with specific socio-economic and natural resource settings.
For more information on TANs please download the following PDF:
TAN definition (0.06MB). To obtain an empty TAN document please download: TAN structure (0.1MB).


 
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TAN: Diversification of economic activities to increase income among coconut farmers

Summary: Poor coconut farmers in many parts of the world are facing difficulties to sustain their families’ livelihoods from coconut-derived income. It is important to improve their incomes and food security conditions and to maintain the genetic diversity of coconut. The International Coconut Genetic Resources Network and partners implemented the project “Overcoming poverty in coconut growing communities” aiming to help developing countries overcome poverty among marginalized coconut farmers through improved coconut based farming systems and the diversification and effective use of coconut products and by-products. The main intervention aimed at income generation and strengthening food security were to improve the production and marketing of high-value products from all parts of the coconut, to introduce cash and food security intercrops, and to introduce livestock and/or fodder production.

At the global level we find that the project positively influences expected total annual household income by 1778 I$s. At the national level in four out of seven countries the project positively influences expected total annual household income. At the community level this is 8 out of 14 communities. Household size and farm size are both significant variables in many of the models, that mostly positively influence
expected total income. Income diversification positively influences household income in most countries. In four out of seven countries and at the global level, food security has also improved.

Implementation of the interventions was constrained by the occurrence of animal and plant diseases, limited access to veterinary and other services, and a lack of capital. Natural calamities also damaged crops. Lastly, a lack of market information limited farmer bargaining power and market access.

 


 
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TAN: On-farm conservation of high value and high yielding coconut varieties in coconut growing communities

Summary: Poor coconut farmers in many parts of the world are facing difficulties to sustain their families’ livelihoods from coconut income. It is important to improve their incomes and food security conditions and to maintain the genetic diversity of coconut. The International Coconut Genetic Resources Network (COGENT) and partners implemented the project “Overcoming poverty in coconut growing communities” aiming to help developing countries alleviate poverty among marginalized coconut farmers through improved coconut-based farming systems and the diversification and effective use of coconut products and by-products. By identifying, characterizing, and documenting local, high yielding and high-value coconut varieties, and by improving access to high-quality planting material, through the establishment of community-managed nurseries, on-farm conservation of coconut genetic resources is improved. This is supported by raising awareness among farmers of valuable coconut varieties. The documentation and characterization of plant genetic resources is important to make these resources useful for farmers, breeders and researchers. A total of 48 coconut varieties were identified in ten countries through participatory processes, and  characterized and documented. A total of 36 nurseries were established which together distributed 12,265 seedlings. The impact on yield is still to be measured, as new seedlings are not bearing yet. Constraints to the establishment of nurseries included the occurrence of pests and diseases and natural calamities, and a lack of reliable sources of seed-nuts for the nurseries due to a high coconut price.

 


 
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TAN: High value coconut products to enhance income of the poor in coconut growing communities

Summary: Poor coconut farmers in many parts of the world are facing difficulties to sustain their families’ livelihoods from coconut income. It is important to improve their incomes and food security conditions and to maintain the genetic diversity of coconut. The International Coconut Genetic Resources Network (COGENT) and partners implemented the project “Overcoming poverty in coconut growing communities” aiming to help developing countries alleviate poverty among marginalized coconut farmers through improved coconut-based farming systems and the diversification and effective use of coconut products and by-products. The  intervention described in this document is that of the development of high-value products derived from all parts of the coconut tree and fruit. Community members were supported with training (64% of those trained were women), equipment and microcredit to carry out this income-generating activity. Data shows that in two out of four countries the project had a positive influence on off-farm income although at the global level this is not shown. Important factors positively or negatively influencing off-farm income at the global level are government assistance and plant disease. Major constraints for the successful implementation of this intervention include limited access to market information, poor management skills of the community based organizations and of the micro-credit system, and technical limitations.

 


 
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TAN: Intercropping for income generation and food security

Summary: Poor coconut farmers in many parts of the world are facing difficulties to sustain their families’ livelihoods from coconut income. It is important to improve their incomes and food security conditions and to maintain the genetic diversity of coconut. The International Coconut Genetic Resources Network (COGENT) and partners implemented the project “Overcoming poverty in coconut growing communities” aiming to help developing countries alleviate poverty among marginalized coconut farmers through improved coconut-based farming systems and the diversification and effective use of coconut products and by-products. Part of the strategy was to introduce cash and food security intercrops that are compatible with coconut and feasible for the specific conditions of the communities.

Out of 11 countries we had data available for 14 communities in 7 countries for an evaluation of the impact of the strategy. At the national level, 2 out of 7 countries have seen a significantly positive change in income derived from intercrops. At the community level this is 7 out of 14 communities. At the global level the project has helped increase the income derived from intercrops by 191.75 international dollars per annum. Due to incomplete data, impact on food security could not be directly linked to the intercropping strategy, however during the time of the project, 12 out of 17 communities have seen a significant increase in food security. UN statistics also show declining trends in food insecurity in all participating countries ranging from an annual change of -0.8 to -3.9 percent.

 


 TAN: Programme for the sustainable use of coconut genetic resources to enhance incomes and nutrition of coconut smallholders in the Asia-Pacific region'


 

The Coconut Genetic Resources Network (COGENT) aims to promote national, regional and global collaboration among coconut-producing countries and
partner institutions in the conservation and use of coconut genetic resources for enhanced livelihoods.

The COGENT website is maintained by Bioversity International - Montpellier office.

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