Posts Categorized: Blog

CNFA President and CEO Tours Four Programs

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On November 5-7, CNFA President and CEO Sylvain Roy visited the CNFA Amalima project in Zimbabwe, funded through USAID’s Office of Food for Peace, to engage with staff and to see program activities firsthand. Roy first stopped at the Nkunzi clinic in the Tsholotsho District of Zimbabwe where Amalima is rehabilitating clean drinking water sources and installing 10 new pit latrines which will allow 1,500 men, women and children from the surrounding areas to access clean water and facilities. From there, Roy traveled to the site of Amalima gully reclamation activities where nearly 500 community members are working together to restore communal grazing lands. These areas, compromised by the effects of severe erosion, are left with deep gullies that break up the landscape and pose threat to cattle. Amalima guided community members to construct stone and wood retaining walls and plant sisal to stop further erosion and reduce the flow of water. On his final day in country, Roy met with the USAID Mission staff, where they expressed their appreciation for Amalima’s accomplishments and look forward to the program’s continued success.

From November 8-12, Roy traveled to Ethiopia to visit two CNFA programs: the Agricultural Growth Program-Livestock Market Development (AGP-LMD) project and the Commercial Farm Service Program (CFSP). While in country, Roy met with USAID staff to discuss the successes and milestones of each project and then met with each teams’ staff members. After meeting with staff, Roy remarked, “Both AGP-LMD and CFSP are excellent projects with strong staff and management capacities who are continually adapting to implementing constraints and opportunities. It is clear to see how both programs are making positive contributions to the Feed the Future initiatives in Ethiopia. I look forward to the opportunity to return to Ethiopia to visit program activities and grantees in the future.”

From November 12-14, Roy traveled to Georgia to visit two ongoing CNFA Programs: The Restoring Efficiency to Agriculture Production (REAP) program funded by USAID and the Rural Economic Development (RED) program funded by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC) and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). Since 2006, CNFA has implemented seven agricultural development programs benefiting more than 200,000 smallholder farmers and more than 300 agribusinesses in Georgia. While in Georgia, Roy discussed CNFA’s past and present successes with U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, Mr. Richard Norland, USAID Mission Staff and the Food Safety and Rural Development Attaché of the European Union Delegation to Georgia, Mr. Juan Echanove. Roy also visited two of CNFA’s past grantees from the MCC funded Agribusiness Development Activity (ADA): Farm Service Center in Gurjaani, Agrospero, and a milk processing factory in Tibaani village of Kakheti region. In addition, Roy visited one of REAP’s 37 recently approved grant projects that will establish a modern farm service center that will benefit more than 6,000 farmers from Signagi district of Kakheti Region.

From November 15-17, Roy continued his tour with a visit to CNFA’s newest USAID funded program, the Agricultural Support to Azerbaijan Project where he met with USAID and program staff.


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Branding Seminar Strengthens Georgian Agribusiness

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On October 29th, USAID/REAP organized a seminar for nine grant recipient businesses and three Branding Companies to give company executives, brand managers and marketing staff a variety of insights and recommendations that will influence how they build and exploit world-class branding, packaging and marketing solutions. The seminar was conducted by Jeffrey Spear.

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AGP-LMD is Featured on

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Read how USAID is empowering women in Ethiopia through trainings in livestock production, leadership and entrepreneurship.

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AGP-LMD is Featured on USAID’s Impact Blog

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Read how USAID is empowering women in Ethiopia through trainings in livestock production, leadership and entrepreneurship.

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Farm Service Centers Host Ethiopia’s First Pesticide Applicators’ Training

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The Commercial Farm Service Program (CFSP), implemented by CNFA and funded by USAID, held the country’s first Pesticide Applicators’ Training with the aim to increase the awareness of the dangers of pesticides and to enable professional or semi-professional agronomists to become Government of Ethiopia certified pesticide applicators.  The use of improved agricultural inputs has been promoted in Ethiopia to combat the common problem of crop loss – one category of these inputs is pesticides. However, while the use of pesticides has been promoted, there are many dangers that can result from the misuse of these products.

In collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Oromia Bureau of Agriculture and CropLife Ethiopia, CFSP organized the top professionals in pesticide use and handling in Ethiopia to compile a 15-module, three week training course in Bishoftu, Ethiopia. “When the program came with the proposal to conduct applicator training, our office approved and ensured its collaboration in every way possible,” said W/o Hiwot Lemma, the director of the Plant Protection Directorate at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture during the opening of the training.  The program helped the trainees understand the standards for safe handling and safe application of pesticides. Those who successfully completed the training are now expected to train farmers and pesticide dealers in addition to providing services as a newly certified pesticide applicator.

Such applicators are in a high demand in the country as they are able to render environmentally sound pesticide application services to farmers in collaboration with the CFSP-established Farm Service Centers (FSCs).  For more information about CFSP, click here.

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First Sharia-Compliant Savings and Credit Cooperative in Kenya Supports Growth

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Learn about the Community-Owned Finance Institution (COFI), Kenya’s first Sharia-Compliant Savings and Credit Cooperative, and how it supports growth and opportunity in livestock, animal production, and agriculture. Read the full blog post written by Sylvain Roy, CNFA President and CEO, published on USAID MicroLinks.

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Commercial Farm Service Program Team Answers Questions as part of #FeedingDev

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As part of Devex’s #FeedingDev campaign, the Commercial Farm Service Program (CFSP) in Ethiopia wanted to hear from you!  That is why CFSP opened the discussion for anyone to ask the team questions via Facebook and Twitter #CFSPquestions.  Here are video answers by Dr. Waktola Wakgari, Chief of Party of CFSP, answering questions that were submitted over the last two weeks.

Question 1:  Nowadays, the agriculture and agribusiness sector has the interest of promoting the “value chain approach” as a way to increasing smallholder farmers’ lives and livelihoods. Taking that into account, which stage of the agricultural value chain would you say is the most challenging in Ethiopia –  or rather, which stage of the agricultural value chain in Ethiopia requires the highest intervention to ensure farmers and their families have better lives?

Question 2: Would you say agrodealers are the best thing that happened to smallholder farmers or would you say that such merchants put the farmers access at risk of finding a fair price for products? If you say they put the farmers at risk more than they help, what should be done to minimize this risk of expensive and/or adulterated products?

Question 3: What do you do with the waste of vegetables grown and are not sold and that eventually have to be thrown away?

Question 4: How would you say a smallholder farmer could be safe from risks  of using hazardous plant protection products and what has been done up to now in relation to reducing the risk and protecting farmers’ lives?

Question 5:  How can one reduce the negative impact of plant protection products on environment?

If you have any questions about CFSP, please contact Kathryn Karl (

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Hear How CNFA is Building Input Supply Networks in Ethiopia

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Dr. Waktola Wakgari is featured in an op-ed published on Devex, as part of their #FeedingDev campaign, discussing the success of building a network of Farm Service Centers in Ethiopia. These stores serve as “one-stop-shops” for smallholder farmers by providing a complete range of inputs, services, information and output marketing linkages.

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Farmer-to-Farmer Stories – The Key to Success

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This article is a contribution to a week-long blog carnival on USAID’s John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Program. From July 14-18, F2F program partners and American volunteers are sharing their knowledge and experience of providing technical assistance to farmers, farm groups, agribusinesses, service providers, and other agriculture sector institutions in developing and transitional countries. This blog carnival aims to capture and share this program experience. You can find all contributions on Agrilinks.

Today is the last day of Agrilink’s Blog Carnival for the Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program. Each day this week, stories from nine organizations were released. The stories, experiences, and ideas expressed in these posts came from all over the globe and discussed different technical areas of expertise. There were several sources of these stories: volunteers, local field staff, farmers, business owners, government employees, and more. Although the storytelling and knowledge sharing have been different and unique in their own ways, one thing remains clear: stories from the Farmer-to-Farmer field are valuable and need to be heard.

The very nature of the F2F program fosters deep connections among people from different backgrounds. Volunteers arrive in country and immediately start creating networks, knowing that meeting anyone they can and hearing their stories is the best way to gain a deep understanding of their environments. Local F2F staff connect volunteers not only to their designated host organization but also to other individuals who have information that can benefit volunteers. The farmers or business owners take the information they are passed down and spread it throughout their communities. This knowledge sharing is the real key to Farmer-to-Farmer success.

Many times, international development programs focus their efforts on improving impact numbers and analyzing large data sets to try and make a picture of the program’s results. While this data is a necessary part of program implementation, it cannot tell a story. People tell stories. There are individuals behind every program, and with F2F, we have the unique opportunity of hearing these testimonials to get a real understanding of the valuable day-to-day work that is actually being accomplished.

Storytelling and knowledge sharing is only made possible through the organization of a solid structure. Without structure, this information would get carried away, and the value would be lost. The implementing organizations behind the F2F program create the foundation and structure through which these stories are spread.

Thank you to all the organizations involved in this week’s Blog Carnival for the F2F Program. Through collaborating on events such as this one, the F2F experience can be shared with all to create higher impact, improved knowledge sharing of technical expertise, and increased cultural awareness at home and overseas.  It’s been a pleasure to hear your stories, and I look forward to hearing many more.

As aligned with Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, F2F works to support inclusive agriculture sector growth, facilitate private sector engagement in the agriculture sector, enhance development of local capacity and promote climate-smart development. Volunteer assignments address host-led priorities to expand economic growth that increases incomes and improves access to nutritious food.  Read more articles on this topic on Agrilinks. Also, make sure to subscribe to receive a daily digest in your inbox, for one week only!

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