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PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE - Agriculture and non-farm small business credit and marketing


Jeff Dorsey offers 20 years of credit and microfinance expertise to the field of Farm and Small Business Credit Services. Starting with credit for small business and cooperatives and lending for agricultural production, Jeff combined his experience with survey research to interview over 2000 farmers and fishermen in Malaysia in just over a year to help Bank Pertanian improve its service to its customers and their ability to repay their loans. He approaches the credit needs of business with an open mind and helps entrepreneurs orient their businesses toward profitable activities and to improve their efficiency in order to find and make best use of available finance.

Jeff has been involved in numerous programs to help select, develop and implement business plans, and finance profitable activities in agriculture and other sectors. His work has included support for marketing as well as the production of agricultural and other products for both the domestic and export markets. He has helped institutions like the African Development Bank to create a program for microfinance and PLAN International and WOCCU with applications of microfinance to home improvement, housing finance, and has also pioneered housing microfinance as a tool for recovery after disasters like the December 2004 tsunami.

His experience in land tenure and property rights has been brought to bear on problems of mortgage collateral to provide finance for businesses in places as diverse as Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Rwanda, Kosovo and Kyrgyzstan. He has helped microfinance institutions to expand their operations from small group loans to larger individual loans as some of their clients outgrow limited group-lending approaches valid for the limited financial needs of first-time borrowers but ill-adapted to the growing requirements of emerging entrepreneurs. Jeff has also encouraged microfinance institutions to finance market-oriented agricultural operations and value-added in processing and marketing.

2 June to 24 June 2007
Enterprise Specialist, Huambo, Angola analyzing potential business opportunities arising in peri-urban and rural areas due to improvement in property rights.

5 May to 21 May 2007
Team leader, Conakry, Guinea for the agriculture and natural resource management component of a better governance project during the start-up phase, preparing protocols for future collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and contacting UN agencies concerning relevant activities.

26 November 2006 to January 19 2007
Agricultural Economist, Senegal for an evaluation of a USAID-funded natural resource management project, responsible for analyzing the economic pillar of a tripartite strategy of nature, wealth and power. Analysis focused on how project interventions increasing income from forest and non-traditional agricultural products and revenues to local government succeeded in raising community interest in improved management of community forests and other resources.

10 September to 20 October 2005
Microfinance Expert, Sri Lanka assessment of microfinance opportunities in the wake of the tsunami and proposing changes in products, procedures and reporting requirements to overcome low funds uptake and to encourage greater interest by MFIs in USAID funds offered for recovery.

27 June to 2 October 2004
Agricultural Credit Risk Specialist for USAID’s Mali Finance project managed by Chemonics, preparing budgets for major crops grown in the southern part of the country (including cotton, potatoes, mangos, irrigated rice, onions, tomatoes and sesame), analyzing agronomic, input supply, and marketing constraints, as well as imports and exports, and assessing the risk associated with financing these crops. Work also involved estimating the repayment capacity of farmers for short-, medium- and long-term loans, recommending changes in agricultural lending policies, and development of new agricultural lending policies and new loan products to allow the two major microfinance institutions to better serve the population and to improve their capacity to analyze farm loans.

18 March to 2 May 2004
Income-Generating Activity Specialist for the Government of Mozambique’s Ministry of Women and Coordination of Social Action, training social action staff in program design and implementation, evaluating its on-going support to income-generating activities for welfare recipients, and proposing changes in selected activities to reduce risks and to improve success rate of welfare recipients in setting up their own micro enterprises.

12 September to 17 October 2003
Fertilizer Credit Specialist for the International Fertilizer Development Center in Malawi, reviewing the need for an access to and the sources of credit by fertilizer dealers; both local currency and dollar and rand finance for fertilizer imports were analyzed. Work included analysis of use of fertilizer stocks in bonded warehouses as collateral (inventory credit) and on other possible sources of guarantees to supplement dealers own contributions to the finance of fertilizer imports and in-country inventories.

24 April to 20 May, 2003
Housing Microfinance Expert, Kigali, Rwanda, for the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) analyzing the performance of housing and home improvement lending by Rwandan credit unions and their national union (UBPR). A program for establishing in-house expertise in construction, for improving existing loan products, and for developing a product combining member savings with home purchase finance was designed. New products for commercial construction loans and for salary advances used for home improvement were also proposed.

20 August 2001 to 2 November, 2001 and 19 November to 14 December 2001
Microfinance Housing Consultant, PLAN International, preparing a proposal for Phase II of a microfinance for housing cum technical assistance project for low-income families. Work also entails assisting PLAN in identifying funding sources, preparing grant proposals for expansion of the program in 5 existing countries (Latin America and Sri Lanka) and its replication in a similar number of new countries in Africa and elsewhere.

4 April 2001 to 25 May, 3 to 18 November, 2001and 19 December 2001 to 26 January 2002
Information and Communications Expert, Mali for USAID reviewing the information and communications needs of the umbrella association of microfinance institutions (APIM) and its 24 members and developing a strategy for meeting APIMs needs, including computerization of its operations (hardware, software, web site email systems, electronic bulletin) and those of its members. Work included developing a communications strategy for the marketing of the microfinance industry as a whole and coordinating the media campaigns of individual MFIs with the overall industry strategy. The report is in French. Handled press relations to launch the communications strategy with a week-long Microfinance Week conference with nationwide media coverage and designed a media campaign for the African Cup of Nations soccer tournament.

31 May to 1 August 2000
Agricultural Economist and Credit Expert evaluating the strategy of alternative development of the Government of Peru supported by USAID for farmers in the Peruvian selva in coca-producing zones. Farmers were interviewed concerning their production of coca and alternative crops and livestock activities, marketing arrangements, means of financing their farming and other activities, and their property rights. Managers of farmer cooperatives and privately owned agribusinesses processing, marketing and exporting coffee, cocoa, bananas, beans, rice, hearts of palm, pineapple and other non-traditional export crops were also consulted. Financial analysis of priority activities was carried out. Roles of farmer organizations in marketing were also analyzed; support of NGOs was also evaluated.

29 April to 29 May, 2000
Rural Organizations Specialist, Mali, Ethiopia, Uganda and Malawi, analyzing technical and financial support to producers’ organizations in Africa for improving collective marketing, input supply and service provision to members. A major focus of the study was on the process of building trust and long-term relationships between producer organizations and the processors, traders and agroexporters buying their products. The report made recommendations for strategies to improve USAID’s support for rural producers’ associations throughout Africa.

October 2 to November 12, 1999
Farmer Organization Specialist, Mozambique, responsible for an assessment of farmer associations supported by USAID/Mozambique and US NGOs to determine “Best Practices” to achieve results in collective marketing of agricultural products. Support provide by US and UK NGOs (CLUSA, CARE, World Vision, ACDI/VOCA, Freedom from Hunger, etc.) to farmer organizations and by TechnoServe and the Cashew Industry Support project (Nampula) to processors and agribusinesses was also analyzed. Best practices were identified and recommendations made for linking farmer organizations with agribusinesses engaged in marketing, processing and exporting.

June 16-July 27, 1999
Financial Policy Advisor for the Fondo Peru Canada evaluating the microfinance institutions the Fondo supports and advising on the formalization of their activities to provide continuity in the provision of financial services to the poor for their farm and non-farm small businesses and micro enterprises.

November 30 to December 18, 1998
Agricultural Finance Expert for USAID/Honduras responsible for reviewing requirements and options for financing agricultural reconstruction after Hurricane Mitch. The mechanisms proposed included refinancing and special lines of credit for participating banks and other financial institutions.

July 8 to August 9 & Sept. 20 to 17 October, 1998
Fisheries Credit Expert for FAO and Morocco's Office National de Pêche supporting expansion of the mutual loan guarantee system to cover remaining ports and increasing membership and raising system revenues.

January 31 to March 29, 1998
Rural Savings and Credit and Micro enterprise Development Expert in Senegal analyzing credit requirements of natural resource management activities and micro enterprises in rural communities and designing a credit component in partnership with this USAID-financed NRM project and local financial institutions.

April 6, 1997- 10 October, 1997
Microfinance Expert and Operations Analyst preparing the African Development Fund's US$ 10 million Microfinance Initiative for Africa (AMINA) proposal to support urban and rural micro enterprises. Work also included up-dating the African Development Bank operations manual.

November 3 to December 2, 1996
Artisanal Fisheries Credit & Financial Analyst analyzing informal credit and marketing systems for fishermen, women fish processors and fish traders for a JICA artisanal fisheries project on the north coast of Senegal. Credit for marketing and processing was emphasized.

17 October to 14 November 1995
Credit Consultant for Save the Children (USA) in Malawi designing a credit system for processing and petty trade micro enterprises of low-income women widowed by AIDS

10 April to 3 May 1995
Agricultural Economist, Guinea evaluating income-generating activities encouraged by a USAID-funded natural resources management project in the Fouta-Djallon highlands, including markets and finance for dry-season vegetable production and non-agricultural small businesses. The shortage of finance as a constraint to the development of these enterprises was also analyzed.

25 September to 7 December 1994
Rural Credit Specialist, Burma for FAO designing a credit system for four FAO-implemented agro-forestry and agriculture projects to support farming, fishing, agricultural marketing and rural non-farm businesses, including small processing and trading enterprises of women.

11 May to 11 September 1994
Fisheries Economist, Mexico, FAO analyzing viability and investment in fish capture, processing and marketing in Mexican fisheries and aquaculture (including land-titling and credit for aquaculture projects). Macroeconomic factors affecting fisheries investment (including overvaluation of the currency) were highlighted three months prior to the devaluation of the peso. Economic and financial analysis of various types of fisheries and aquaculture activities was also carried out.

4 April to 9 May 1994
Rural Organizations and Credit Analyst, Honduras for FAO, evaluating an agro-forestry and natural resource management project, including the contribution of its credit component to the achievement of project objectives.

17 November to 15 December 1992 and 1-10 January 1993
Fisheries Credit Expert, Ecuador designing a credit component for a GTZ artisanal fisheries project, including support for fish-processing.

18 August to 5 November 1992
Fisheries Credit Expert, FAO, Pakistan analyzing market potential and finance for the fish capture, fish-processing and fish meal industries, with a major focus on export-markets.

4 April to 10 August 1992 and 8 August to 22 December 1991
Team Leader/Agricultural Economist, Uganda funded by AfDB responsible for designing a national lending program for farmers, artisanal fishermen and other rural small businessmen and women.

13 March to 17 May 1990
Economic Analyst and Credit Expert, Honduras, analyzing marketing mechanisms and loan portfolios of the agricultural cooperatives packing and exporting melons and other non-traditional products to the North American market, funded by USAID.

16 August to 16 October 1988
Author/Credit Expert, FAO, Rome writing a manual on managing credit components of artisanal fisheries projects.

July 1985 to August 1986
Agricultural Credit Expert, FAO, Malaysia, directing a survey of 2,000 small farmers and artisanal fishermen to assist the Malaysia's Agricultural Development Bank in improving its lending policies, procedures and loan recovery.

Three months between 1980 to 1984 (various dates)
Cooperative Credit Consultant, Inter-American Foundation, Dominican Republic, evaluating the portfolio of the rural cooperative finance company and reviewing and criticizing inaccurate agribusiness feasibility studies prepared to support loan applications.

8 July to 30 August 1983
Credit Consultant, Haiti. USAID analyzing group credit provided to small farmers and the implications of proposed lending for large-scale private sector agribusiness investments.