The Promoting Rural Industries and Market Enhancement (PRIME, 2005-2011) was a Cad$6.8 million six-year project with Cad$4.8M grant provided by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). PRIME’s expected impact was to reduce poverty in targeted rural areas; this was to be achieved by supporting the development of rural enterprises within the organic and natural products sector (e.g., organic rice, organic muscovado sugar, and seaweeds) resulting in the enhancement of food security, increased household income and generation of jobs and employment for both men and women.
PRIME had four components a) Micro-enterprise Development, b) Enhancing Participation in the Market, c) Program and Policy Analyses in Support of Rural Micro-Enterprises/Industries, and d) Strengthened Institutional Capacity of PDAP.
The main beneficiaries of PDAP’s programs were the rural poor communities composed of farmers, small seaweed farmers, women groups, indigenous communities and other vulnerable sectors in the communities. In PRIME, PDAP sharpened its focus by working with rural enterprising communities (RECs). These RECs were communities who had indications of entrepreneurial capacities and ventured into micro-enterprises. These RECs consisted of farmer associations, agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and cooperatives.
In the PRIME Program, PDAP implemented various interventions such as capacity building which include training, technical assistance, mentoring, and coaching on enterprise and organizational management; providing access to finance through guaranties, loans and equity participation; facilitation of market linkages; and, policy support and advocacy to enhance partners’ participation in the market. These interventions allowed it to work simultaneously at various levels – directly with rural producers and their households, with their associations, with the supply and value chains, with clusters, with local government units, with industry associations and national government agencies.
PRIME resulted in the increase in income of the farmer members, both men and women, of the 42 Micro Enterprises (MEs) assisted, created more jobs and contributed to food security. The 42 MEs have established viable rural micro-enterprises. MEs with industry potentials were scaled up and connected with the market through appropriate market-participation mechanisms. Industry-specific and gender equitable policy reform initiatives developed and directed towards relevant government agencies (national and local) that regulate and assist rural enterprises/industries. It enhanced PDAP organizational capacity leading towards its long-term institutional sustainability.