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Trade Afghan Womens BusinessesAn IDEA-NEW Gender Strategy Program

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A Training, Certification and Marketing program

Supporting Afghan womens businesses in producing agriculturally based products

Marketing womens products nationally

Training businesswomen to make products that are competitive and meet quality standards

Training women to increase their production capacity to meet market demand

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The Trade Afghan Brand means

Made by Afghan womenSold by Afghan womenGood QualityPriced for Afghans

Program StrategyModeled after Fair Trade Brand certification programQualifying businesswomen develop into a network of women with strong identity as in Grameen Bank Borrowers programQuality control built into program through a sales network program for qualifying products (only quality products with a market will be bought)Training specific to each businesswomens needs base on a GAP analysis of productsFocused on national marketDesigned for sustainability after initial donor investment

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Phase One Objectives

Overall objective of phase one is the support of the IDEA NEW gender strategy though an assessment of local womens NGOs as well as the assessment of what womens produced products are likely to successful in the market.

The eight IDEA NEW value chains are assessed for potential products that could be produced and successfully sold by Womens groups.

An assessment is produced of womens NGOs, cooperatives, associations and businesses for potential participation in the womens agricultural initiative. An assessment is produced that lists the commercially viable products that could be produced in the targeted provinces and marketed nationally. Priority must be given to agricultural products in IDEA NEW value chains and agricultural products.

An operationalization plan is produced to show the practical next steps for the support and development of womens branded product line.

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Phase One StepsIdentification of potential participants in Kapisa, Nangrehar, Parwan, and Panjshir, and assessment conducted of products produced and capacity of NGO, businessResearch on products found, as well as potential products that could be produced given skills availableTraining program drafted based on GAP analysis of recommended participantsPlan for Phase 2 completed for program implementation in 2013.

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Assessment of Womens NGOs, businesses and cooperativesExisting products and new ideasNumber of women workersCapacity for expansionCapacity for managementCultural considerationsTraining needs

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Wheat StarchNafas Gul owner of "Fardowzeh Bareem in JalalabadMakes and sells corn starch for 22 afs a boxEarns 8000 afs a monthHas the capacity to make cheese and milk products20 women work part time capacity

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Pickles

Sola Safi- head of Afghan Women Agriculture Association a registered business in JalalabadMakes and sells pickles at 50 afs a bottle for a total sales of $5000 a year with 15 retail outletsProduct certified by Ministry of Public Health20 women working in the business

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Carpet Wool and Carpets

Produces carpet wool thread and carpetsRaw materials purchased from Koochi tribesAward winning quality wool threadGross revenue $50K a year300 women employed (capacity for 1,000)Sharifa Ahkmadzai, Carpet Weavers Association in Jalalabad

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Womens clothing

Jamila Akhond ZadaNangrehar Handicraft Producers AssociationClothing, embroidered items and accessories including belts$60k a year with items priced from $50- $300 with a Kabul market600 women working in her business

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Saffron/Chicken FarmMah Jan, Shurgal Project in KapisaSells Saffron, Eggs, Chickens and Vegetables5000 Afs a month-primarily poultry5 women working in poultry and 10 women in saffron-(new business)

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Sample of Preliminary Findings15 NGOs, Associations and womens businessesWorking with 1600 womenJalalabad businesses have the most developed infrastructure and capacityPanjshir has the least developedProducts are of varying quality, some excellentA number of businesses have good potential for products because of past projects that have been closed.Access to market biggest challenge to expansion and employment of more women

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Market ResearchFinding products that Afghans are already buying and providing quality products at competitive pricesVillage level-barter or salesTown- finding shopkeepers who will sell Trade Afghan productsKabul-finding retail outlets for products that can be produced in quantityLooking for new ideas and new markets

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Products found in assessment processDirect Agricultural Products-Raw materials from Afghanistan Dried green and red pepper, aromatic white pepper, tomatoes, onions, mint, eggplant, cilantro, mulberriesFresh Cilantro, ParsleyFresh VegetablesTomato Sauce Pickles and ChutneyCheese/Milk/DoghEggs/chickens

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Meat -goat and sheepSaffronShoesWool thread for carpet makingSaplings -fruit and shade treesFlowers and HouseplantsCheese/Milk/DoghEggs/chickensMeat -goat and sheepCorn StarchSeeds

Products found in assessment processSecondary Products-may include materials from other countries EmbroideryLaceBeadwork Woman's clothing Men's clothingChildren's clothingWedding dressesPillows

Dusters, bedding for children and adults.CurtainsTraditional floor pillowsTable ClothsCarpetsAccessoriesCookies and breads-traditional

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Product DevelopmentIn Phase One we evaluate the recommended businesses capacity to produce new productsWe research the national market We connect the businesswomen with resources and training to expand their product lineWhen the product is certified as a Trade Afghan product we market the product

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GAP AnalysisEach business will have a detailed analysis of what each potential product needs to become marketable through Trade Afghan:Ie. MOPH certified for hygiene, capacity for production, transportation to market, quality standardizationPARSA trainers will work with each business to implement a plan for certifying products and expansion

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Training Program being designedQuarterly workshops in Kabul for heads of associations and business ownersProvincial training programs for employees and workers including literacy, numeracy, basic business concepts including handling moneyIn certifying a product, participating women join the Trade Afghan Womens Businesses network which will be developed to offer additional benefits Trade Afghan Womens Businesses Network agreements

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Sample of Possible Trade Afghan Womens Businesses Network PrinciplesWe shall follow and advance the four principles of Trade Afghan: Honesty, Hard Work, Unity, Peace in all walks of our lives. If we come to know of any breach of discipline in any Trade Afghan program, we shall all go there and help restore discipline.We agree to produce high quality work, on time delivery at the right price. We shall participate in training programs.We understand Trade Afghan program is a discipline to improve our lives and we will commit to the following principles below in our personal lives as well:We shall not live in dirty houses. We shall keep our living places clean.We shall educate our children, boys and girls, and teach them to learn to earn an income to support their families as an adult. We shall always keep our children clean and teach them to clean themselves.

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Certification of Trade Afghan Products

The Trade Afghan Program helps Afghan business women improve their product development capacity and ability to expand their market nationally.Certification Each product will be certified when the production meets the Trade Afghan standards for quality, price and is verified as produced by women who receive direct benefits from the sales. Gap Analysis This service allows partners to understand what they need to do in order to meet challenges and costs that will be involved in achieving Trade Afghan certification. Training will address training needs of businesswomen who elect to certify their product under Trade Afghan. Trade Afghan quality standards include MOPH certification for hygiene, and a rigorous process of quality control. Participating businesswomen will have access to specific training that will help them qualify their product for the Trade Afghan certification.

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Marketing Trade Afghan ProductsBranding of the product lineWord of Mouth and other village level promotion strategiesRadio-educational programs and programs promoting womens businesses that are excellingTelevision-appealing to national pride and support for women businesses

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Phase Two DevelopmentFeatures of the program:Assessment, GAP analysis and recruitment will be ongoing and inclusiveCertification of products will be rigorous and support through training will be availableFour retail stores selling Trade Afghan products will open with a target of 10 outlets through other businesses in three provinces and KabulMarketing campaigns will be developed for each product at village, town and city levelEach participating business will be monitored throughout the process for both challenges and progress

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Challenges

Participants and PARSA employee securityMarketing products that businesses to not have the capacity to produce over timeMaintaining the integrity of the Trade Afghan certification processInsuring the integrity of the retail stores finances and financial informationInsuring that the earnings from the program go to the women involved in the product productionMaking sure business women do not exploit lower level workersConducting a marketing campaign that appeals to Afghan consumers

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