Sustainable Agricultural Support Network (SANET)

Sustainable Chain Management

In a chain the final product can be clearly defined while its quality can be judged. However, for a great part the way it is made while passing through the chain is not visible to the final consumer. Many commodities are the final outcome of European or wider international chains governed by many rules, while their sustainability is far from evident. A commodity’s sustainability is dependent on many individual decisions at different stages and levels. Gaining insight in it and taking steps to makes things better require from entrepreneurs daring, creativity and a capacity to innovate.

Sustainable Chain Management does not know a static end result. Time and again the question should be asked what can be done to enhance sustainability. This requires an entrepreneurial spirit and commitment from all sides.

Iscom and Sustainable Chain Management

For ISCOM it is crucial to realise that a responsible social and environmental policy is not just a matter of compliance with existing regulations.

Laws and rules are important but they tend to be rigid and limited at the same time, as they tend not to take into account a company’s specific circumstances. Business leaders are capable of doing that. This is what ISCOM wishes to support.

Project activities in Ghana
In Ghana there are various project locations within the SUSCAP Programme, which is subsidised by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (TMF financial programme).

At all these locations ISCOM works together with small-scale farmers. Major aspects of these efforts are organising the farmers by establishing cooperatives or associations, development of market channels and applying sustainable agriculture.

Partner in Ghana
From the very beginning ISCOM’s has been the Berea Social Foundation (BSF) in the harbour town of Takoradi. BSF has appointed a number of co-workers who directly support the execution of projects. BSF communicates with farmers, ministries and others to help execute the local projects.

SUSCAP programme
SUSCAP stands for Sustainable Chain Management and the Abatement of Poverty. The SUSCAP Programme aims at making a lasting contribution to better living conditions of small-scale farmers in Ghana and Kenya.
This is primarily done by increasing the farmers’ ability to increase their financial income.This subsidised programme makes it possible to develop business plans as a basis for involving financiers of investments that makes it possible to produce and sell under professional conditions.

ISCOM considers the entire supply chain and is keen to involve different partners who are interested in sustainable development (that is, taking into account not only economic interests but also social and ecological interests).
The acquired subsidy from the Dutch government (TMF) makes it possible to involve farmer groups who lack basic skills and means to participate in commercial agriculture. ISCOM’s integrated approach (that is, not just addressing single issues but going for a total package of technical, organisational and commercial capacities) requires quite some communication and preparatory training before a common understanding and commitment can be reached

Projects in Kenya
In Kenya there are three location where ISCOM executes project activities.

At these locations ISCOM works together with small-scale farmers. The collaboration is directed at organising the farmers, developing market channels and applying sustainable agriculture. The development of one of the projects (a rice project) is made possible thanks to a grant from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (this is the Suscap-programme, which also applies to activities in Ghana). A horticultural project was made possible thanks to a loan from the SNS Waterfund. There are also promising contacts with other financiers with a view to financing the remaining activities that ISCOM and its partners wish to carry out.

ISCOM in Kenya
In 2006 ISCOM Kenya was established as an not-for-profit NGO. It has been located in the town of Thika (not far from Nairobi). As regards management and budgets ISCOM Kenya operates under the board of ISCOM in the Netherlands. ISCOM Kenya is managed by regional director Dr Parminder Singh Sahota supported by office manager and accountant Pritpal Singh Bharya and other staff.

ISCOM expects that the work in Kenya will expand strongly in the near future. Ample attention is paid to proper accounting systems to accommodate the expanding work from an administrative and financial point of view.

Projects in Cameroon
In Cameroon ISCOM is involved in one but sizeable project.


There ISCOM works together with cocoa farmers and their cooperatives (eight in total). The work is focused on improving the organisational and commercial quality of these cooperatives and the development of market channels

The Cocoa Buffer Fund of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture (LNV) is sponsor of this project. In addition, Masterfoods BV/Mars Inc., ADM Cocoa B.V. and IITA.STCP make in-kind contributions.

Het Upcocoa-project in Centraal Kameroen.

ISCOM in Cameroon
ISCOM has – together with ADM Cocoa – initiated the project and has written the project proposal.
ISCOM is the project’s administrator and makes important contribution to the execution of the project.
The latter particularly involves project coordination, development of a Quality Management Handbook and writing of a few (scientific) articles.
In April 2008 ISCOM handed over the project management to RIAS.

The eight cooperatives are located not far from Yaounde (( Mfou, Okola, Ngomou, Mendang, Bokito, Ayos, Njomedzap, Akoeman. )

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