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Small and Medium Enterprise Development Training Programme in Indian and Partner Universities in South Asia
Research & Capacity Development
Centre for Environment and Economic Development, CEED organizing number of Capacity Development programme mainly Community Based SMEs programme with Afghan Rural Enterprise Development Programme, AREDP under the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, MRRD. AREDP is divided into two Program components, one functional, and support component. The two Program components are Community-based Enterprise Development, which provides knowledge-based and financial services to community-based rural enterprises, and SME Development, which provides business advisory and financial services to rural SMEs. The support component consists of Program management functions, plus other units that will handle policy issues for rural enterprises, and research and technical support services.  
The program is being sponsored as part of Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Program (AREDP) under Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) programme for practical exposure visit to Indian Universities and institutions, this programme is collaboration with CEED, ASIA. Under this exposure visit the Afghan participants could learn new technology, practical experience and gain applied knowledge to develop their own capacity and use local resources amicably to meet the present need and boost the rural economy of the Afghanistan. SO far CEED has organized 5 international Exposure visit and advance technical training successfully in the areas of Flower and Fruit Nursery, Improved Seed management , Poultry Farming (Layer and Broiler and Marketing ), Saffron, Honey Bees , Dairy (Product Management and Promotion). CEED organizing only trainings in the specialized universities and exports , so that SMEs could get better knowledge, new technology , and learn more practically as university has own lab, research Centres , application fields, machineries . Most importantly the SMEs could learn and lifelong contact with the university professors and learn updated knowledge on both theory and practice without any fees.
Component A:
Community-based Enterprise Development
Community Enterprise Development (CED) develops community-led rural enterprises through organizing rural men/women around Savings Groups, Enterprise groups and mobilizing Saving Groups to organize themselves in village level organizations as Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs).

It includes three subcomponents:

(A1) Community Facilitation:  
This subcomponent paves the way for AREDP’s entry into the villages, and facilitates community-level mobilization and capacity building targeted at Enterprise Groups and Savings Groups. First, AREDP conducts a Provincial Situational Analysis (PSA). This is followed by orientation meetings with key stakeholders at provincial and district levels to promote Program awareness and coordination.
(A2)  Access to Finance for Community Group

Under this subcomponent Savings Groups (SGs) are formed in order to provide opportunities for people with no job or income to have access to affordable credit to start an income generating activity or enterprise. Basic financial capacity is built in these groups through developing a history of savings and track record of financial prudence. SGs thereby become suitable source for rural and poor people to access to credit and start their business. The Program also promotes the formation of VSLAs to augment and to administer the joint funds of Savings Groups. VSLAs will be eligible to receive seed capital from the Program. In addition to that, VSLAs will be linked to MFIs to mobilize for additional funds.

(A3)  Support to Enterprise Groups:

This subcomponent works with rural entrepreneurs to maximize their business potential. On the demand side, enterprise groups request BDS support after discussion of the benefits of collaboration and possibilities of reaping economies of scale and other individuals. On the supply side, the Program provides basic business development training and facilitates access to technical services. Under this sub-component, Enterprise Groups (EGs) are formed and further strengthened through provision of various trainings. Rather than imposing or recommending products and enterprises to communities, the Program focuses on empowering communities to engage directly with the market. The Program cycle for component A is set out in the  below.

1.  Situational Analysis
2.  Community Mobilization
3.  Saving Groups Formation
4.  Internal Lending
5.  Enterprise Group Formation
6.  Providing Training and Technical Assistance to SGs and Egs
7.  Establishing VSLAs

Savings Groups
A Saving Group (SG) is a group of 10-20 rural men and women, who have organized themselves to meet and save a certain amount of money on weekly basis. SGs extend loans to their members during their weekly meetings. The SG members are provided with toolkits and basic training packages i.e. membership promotion, book keeping, basic accounting and internal lending, so as to enable them to use their books of records properly and to utilize their financial resources effectively to establish their own Enterprise Group.
Enterprise Groups
An Enterprise Group (EG) is a group 5-15 rural entrepreneurs who join together and form a group to develop their income generating activities and establish rural micro enterprises. The members of various saving groups organize themselves into Enterprise Groups, based on similar skills within their rural micro enterprises and/or value chains.
Village Savings and Loan Associations
A Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) is a village level association, comprised of the Saving Groups in a CDC. The purpose of a VSLA is to strengthen SGs, in terms of their savings, internal lending, and maintenance of SG books and to facilitate access for SG members to larger loans.
Small-Medium Enterprises
A Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) is any entity engaged in an economic activity to earn profit, irrespective of its legal form’. It would further mean the self-employed, family/household firms, a company, partnership firm, a startup business, co-operatives and associations regularly engaged in an economic activity to make profit, may be considered as an enterprise. It is the legitimate economic activity that is the determining factor, not the legal form.
Brief about the CEED and Contact Detail of Training Coordinator:

Centre for Environment and Economic Development:

Centre for Environment and Economic Development, CEED is a Research based international Centre working for regional research and economic development and cooperation. Since then worked as one of the primer research Centre in the region and work for the Greater South Asian Cooperation and get the Reg. No. 0036, Registered under Registration Act. XXI 1860/2010, New Delhi, India ,web site www.ceedasia.org. CEED has already organized number of international training programme for Humanitarian support Programme; Micro Enterprise Development, Community Development , Capacity Development of Agricultural Farmers, Community Based Disaster Risk Ruction and Management, Gender Development, Human Right Advocacy , Women and Child Protection, Water and Sanitation and Environmental Health Management specially promotion of Mountain livelihood and Humanitarian assistance. We also organized several capacity Development programme for Afghan entrepreneur and farmer in prominent universities e.g. Indira Gandhi National Open University, Kashmir Agriculture University ,University of Horticulture and Forestry, Himachal Pradesh, Solan, National Institute for Rural Development, Delhi University ,Indian Institute of Public Administration and CSK Agriculture University, Himachal Pradesh in India under the special contract from Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, MRRD government of Afghanistan. We hope we could organize this training in professional way in The Dr. BVR IPMT. We have strong team and research network in Kabul, Kandahar, Bamiyan, Nangarhar, Herat, Helmond, Alberuni, Parwan and Jalalabad. Where many of our students also associate with us for better outcome of this study and dealing with number of applied research. Therefore, we would like to request you please consider our request to conduct the assignment and help us for promotion regional cooperation and developments among the south Asian countries. Once again let me thanks in advance for your cooperation and supportive action. N.B: CEED has already organized 5 successful training for AREDP/MRRD Afghanistan. Since CEED is part of Indian University Research programme and only organized the training in specialized Universities with climatic and climatic mountain environments similar to India and the SMEs could keep long term relationships for their further knowledge development in their specific field without any cost or fees . Most of the universities could provide low cast technologies and techniques applicable as the Afghan SMEs requirements.
Training Coordinator:
Dr. Ashutosh Mohanty, PhD.
Centre for Environment and Economic Development, CEED, New Delhi India
Email: amohantydr@gmail.com
Mob: 0091-9030490985
Web : www.ceedasia.org

Success stories:

A Saffron International Afghan Businessman

Ariana is a well-known saffron processing, packaging and exporting company in Herat Afghanistan. On the progress and achievements of his company, Mr. Rashidi the CEO for Arian company said, “Our Company’s real image was built after we participated in a training organized and facilitated by the Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Program in Kashmir, India. The Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Program has provided the longest lasting lucrative technical and marketing support to Ariana Saffron Processing, Packing and Exporting Company. The CEO of the company cited that the technical and professional training facilitated and organized by the Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Program has significantly increased their sales, productivity, employment rate, and revenue. On the impact of the training Mr. Rashidi said, “It was a very remarkable training which was organized and based on our needs and priorities. In the training, we learned important lifelong things about cultivation, processing and packaging of saffron.” The training provided an opportunity for both Afghan and Indian entrepreneurs to strengthen their saffron business markets and relations. Mr. Rashidi, with three employees, initiated his business three years ago with a very basic concept and limited saffron producers and markets. Today, he is considered as one of the forerunners of the saffron business in Afghanistan. Today, twenty direct and 560 indirect employees are working for his company who are involved in cultivating, processing and packing saffron. More employees have started working, as their revenue and productivity have increased. With an increase in their productivity, there was a decrease in cost. Mr. Rashidi added that a year ago they were only selling 20kgs of saffron per year, but today they have built relationships with international saffron entrepreneurs who are willing to buy their products. Ariana Saffron Processing, Packing and Exporting Company has achieved international recognition and importance for Afghanistan’s saffron in international markets. The CEO of the company said that they have maintained their relationships with saffron businessmen from India, France and Turkey. The company recently has signed a contract of 300kg saffron business per year with a French Saffron Business Company. Ariana Saffron Company is in a negotiation process to soon sign a permanent saffron business contract with an Indian company named, “Field Fresh Saffron”. The CEO of the company mentioned that before getting trained and having been provided technical facilities by the Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Program, they were not able to export and internationally market their products because not only were they producing enough saffron, but they also compromised with international standards and quality. The Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Program, in addition, to the incredible training has provided many national level market linkages to not only Ariana Saffron Company but also to four other saffron processing companies in Herat. The companies have been invited to many national level exhibitions to market their products in many provinces of Afghanistan. These market linkages have certainly played a vital role in increasing their productivity, market linkages, and revenue. Mr. Rashidi now says that he is a very well-reputed businessman, having social prestige and recognition. Based on his success in his business, he is currently appointed as the head of the Formal National Saffron Association.
International Training Programme on seed processing and Value addition in Kashmir, India
In June 2013, AREDP engaged (CEED) Centre for Environment and Economic Development for training and exposure visit for 6 improved seeds SMEs including one REDHELMAND staff in Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, India. The objective of this training programme was to disseminate the knowledge and technological know-how about quality of seed production, its processing and marketing strategies among the small and medium enterprises of Helmand provinces, Afghanistan.

Seed can play a critical role in increasing agricultural productivity: it determines the upper limit of crop yields and the productivity of all other agricultural inputs to the farming system. Good and healthy Seeds always provide ingredients to nourish the plant and food production process. Quality Seed can be harvested from the better-managed crop yields. Seed harvesting, conservation and managements improve livelihoods for all sections of the rural community based upon economically viable activities – food production, off-farm employment and trade - social cohesion and sustainable use of natural resources. Quality seed is one of the most important input factors governing the yield potential of a crop. Use of unhealthy insect and disease attacked seed will just bring the disaster to farmers. Therefore, it is imperative to supply farmers quality seed of various crops. Freshly harvested and threshed seed is generally fit for growing a new crop. But it has to be stored for some period ranging from a few days to numerous years because of unfavorable climatic conditions or dormancy for germination or for national reserve. The raw seed though genetically pure, contains a lot of undesirable material like weed seeds, seeds of other crops or varieties or damaged seed. Therefore it has to be processed and upgraded for better and uniform crop stand in the next crop season. The main cause for damage of seed is the moisture content. The deterioration in seed quality is initiated at moisture content above 15% due to mould growth, heating due to increased respiration and activities of micro-organisms. To avoid such losses in seed quality and to maintain it, the seed has to be artificially dried to 10-12% moisture content before storing. The seed has to be dried as soon as it is harvested. The program is being sponsored as part of Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Program (AREDP) for practical exposure visit to Indian Universities and institutions. Under this exposure visit the Helmand SMEs learnt new technology, practical experience and gain applied knowledge to develop their own capacity and use local resources amicably to meet the present need and boost the rural economy of Afghanistan. This training brought together stakeholders including SMEs, technical officials, business groups, farmers, etc., and facilitated exchange of views and ideas pertaining to variety choice, seed multiplication, exchange and marketing. It further strengthened technical ideas starting from keeping records of the multiplication of varieties and inspection of the seed production field, seed processing, seed treatment, testing and finally packaging for marketing.