Theatre Play for Participatory Value Chain Development

As part of the gender fellowship program connected to the TFT project we have conduced several market activities in 2013 and 2014. Activities were taken up enthausiastically by our gender fellow Narasimha Hegde (General manager of NGO Lifetrust in India) and Faridah Aini Binti Muhammad (Scientist of the Department of Agriculture in Malaysia). Activities were carried out in five villages in Sirsi, Karnataka in India and in Sarawak, Malaysia. One of the activities was the performance of a theatre play to explain our project communities about the marketing of native tropical fruit tree species. Enjoy the story and learn more about value chains! 

See the powerpoint of the theatre play here:

Performing 'the spineless durian' in Bungai village, Sibuti, Sarawak, Malaysia

Performing ' the blue square mango' in Kalgadde-Kanchigadde village, Sirsi, Karnataka, India


The theatre play was part of a sequence of activities implemented over a period of one year focusing on:

  • Gendered knowledge mapping exercises to learn about local knowledge differences between gender and age groups
  • Theatre play to built rapportage, faciliate discussions and explain key concepts of a value chain
  • Particpatory Value Chain mapping to understand the local market environment and map the increase in knowledge of targetted women groups
  • Participatory Market Appraisal to collect market information essential to adjust product design, improve processing techniques and to facilitate linkages with potential buyers
  • Exposure visits to value chain role models such as local processors and succesful entrepreneurs

The sequence of interventions were carefully planned in two field visits to each of the five villages and subsequent some expure visits were conducted (a total of 7-8 dedicated field work days for each village) with very promising results. In India one new women group was established to produce syrup from fresh kokum fruits collected from the forest (Garcinia indica) and an existing women group increased their production volume of aromatic mango pickle (Mangifera indica) based on heirloom varieties found in home gardens and forest from 30 to 1,200 kg. Both products are well recieved among local buyers who indicated demand is strong, as the products based on traditional recipes and processing techniques are considered the highest quality standard in the local district market. In Malaysia one village (kampung Kakeng near Serian) managed to establish linkages with two tourist agents in Kuching for their newly established fruit diversity garden and trekking route in the scenic forested hills surrounding the village. The other village (kampung bungai near Miri) started-up production of a noval product using a native wild relative of mango (Mangifera Pentandra) for a sweet & sour type of pickle, which was well recieved by the local manager in Miri of Kedai Rakyat Satu, a leading cooperative retail chain in Malaysia.

Some initial responses of women was that visiting and interviewing the shop keepers themselves opened their eyes realizing the shops they visit weekly or monthly in town for their groceries are actually the major source for market information to improve and market their home-made products. The men and women of Kanchigadde-kalgadde realised during the knowledge mapping exercise that the older women of the Siddhi community actually had most knowledge on native fruit trees. They decided to form a women group and work together taking advantage of the knowledge of the Siddhi community regarding the collection of fruits and the qualitivate processing skills of the uppercaste community. Revenues earned from the initial sales along the year is now used by the women groups to buy ingredients and larger processing utensils for next year fruit harvest season. 'Sitting for the first time together to share our knowledge with men and women of different age and from different social groups helped us to decide to work together according Parvathi', one of the women group members from the Siddhi community, 'it also increased our dedication to adhere to sustainable harvest practises'.

If you want to learn more about particpatory market tools to promote native crop diversity for income generation, see our webpage