Adding practicality to value chain


So we have all attended workshops, seminars and conferences on the most critical issues where people come speak, answer few questions and leave. Let’s admit that these have never really helped, or if it would have, climate change would have been mitigated. Back to the point, one particular presenter at the Caribbean-Pacific AgriFood Forum simply nails it with his presentation.

Joost Guijt is the Senior Advisor Inclusive Agrimarkets at the Centre for Development Innovation of Wageningen University. Most of his work is based on developing and coordinating the Seas of Change programme with the Sustainable Food Lab.

On the other hand, Monika Sopov, who is the Senior advisor for sustainable agricultural chains for the same organisation, talks about her 15 years of experience in agriculture, business administration, adult education, giving her an edge when it comes to capacity building and change management.

Here are 4 ways in which Guijt and Sopov swept every one off their feet:

His presentation was short

When I say his presentation was short, I really mean to say that in terms of content, there were few slides. Each slide had explanation of his tools, and were accompanied by a case study. In addition, the participants were divided into four groups of 5-6 people to discuss on the different value-chains taken as example.

There was even a segment where there was an interesting debate about chain value among two groups and one of our on-site social media reporter. Yes, social reporting were also taking part into the discussions as active participants. In this way, the youth perspectives were also taken into account.

His co-presenter and his enthusiasm

Guijt and Sopov were overwhelmed with excitement when we walked into the room, his first remark being “Ah! Young minds being part of the forum”.

Both the session organisers gladly answered every question in the calmest way. In many forums I have been to, at least back at my university, speakers have snapped at participants for asking questions beyond either their understanding or not being able to explain the listeners their point.

Respect for time

Hey, we’re in the Caribbean. Let’s follow Island time. Let’s arrive ten minutes later and continue the presentation past the allocated time. Admit it, be it Caribbean or Pacific, we have all have had this annoying experience.

However, the duo was already in the presentation room welcoming the participants of their forum on time. They strictly followed the time and when it was 17:30, they concluded for the day to be continued the next day.


Undoubtedly, there must have been something special about his content for CTA to have invited him here. But his was unique. He explained the value-chain, showing four tools that he likes to call “the link”, which from my understanding is supposed to literally link suppliers and buyers.

Having group engagement and giving room for a healthy discussion added colour to his content all the more.

When we returned to the social media pit, fellow social reporter, Dionne, could not stop talking about how good his presentation was, and how eager she was to blog on the happenings of the second day.

This is just a sneak peak. For more, stay tuned to #CPAF15 for live updates and be sure to come back daily to read our blogs!

Blogpost by Avneel Abhishay, Social Reporter for the Caribbean-Pacific Agri-Food Forum 2015. 

Copyright © 2016, CTA. Technical Centre for Rural and Agricultural Cooperation

CTA is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.