Posts Tagged: CFSP

Breaking Gender Stereotypes in Ethiopia to Build a Business

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Read Adanech’s inspirational story and how she is helping strengthen Ethiopia’s food security by owning an agribusiness in Shashemane.

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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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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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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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CNFA Joins Devex’s #FeedingDev Campaign

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CNFA is thrilled to be joining Devex on the Feeding Development campaign! Feeding Development is an online conversation hosted by Devex to reimagine solutions for a food-secure future from seed and soil to a healthy meal. Through various media channels, Devex has been taking part in the #FeedingDev conversation through blogs, videos, tweets and many more opportunities to reach around the world! Now it’s our turn!

Since September 2012, CNFA has been implementing the Commercial Farm Service Program (CFSP), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to establish six private and cooperative-owned Farm Service Centers (FSCs) that provide a complete range of high quality inputs, services, information and output marketing linkages.  For 70 percent of the developing world, agriculture is the main source of income and employment.  In Ethiopia, agriculture accounts for almost half of the country’s GDP, 90 percent of its exports and is the main source of income for over 85 percent of the population – which these days is nearing 100 million people.  Despite its mass importance, agriculture in Ethiopia is characterized by low productivity with most smallholder farmers having limited access to inputs, information and services.  CFSP is part of President Obama’s Feed the Future Initiative  – which aims to help vulnerable households participate in economic activities and bring jobs and income opportunities for rural households.

CFSP builds upon CNFA’s track record of developing networks of input supply retailers in Afghanistan, Georgia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Moldova, Romania, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.  These “one-stop-shops” for local, smallholder farmers demonstrate a profitable business model that is based on a large volume of individually small transactions with small farmer clients. CFSP’s FSC network is driven by and adapted to local production, markets, entrepreneurs and context and serves more than 30,000 Ethiopian smallholders. CFSP has relied on a team of experts in various fields to establish this new and first of its kind network of Farm Service Centers in Ethiopia.

The CFSP team is ready to share their experiences with you.  Have you ever wondered how the supply chain model really works? Or how expanding a network can lead to effective and established commercial enterprises?  Maybe you just don’t quite understand how this could possibly work in Ethiopia. Whatever it may be, we will do our best to give you a thorough, understandable answer. With a history of success and current initiatives centered around expanding Ethiopian smallholder’s access to inputs, training and services, we are ready to share our knowledge with you!

Send us your questions via Facebook or Twitter using #CFSPQuestions over the next few days as they relate to input supply and environmental protection and our experts will respond with their valuable insight! You have until July 17 to let us know your inquiries! After you submit a question or two, stay tuned for our video response that will be posted on July 25!

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook by using the hashtag #FeedingDev and be sure to follow @CNFA and @Devex to get the most up-to-date information about #FeedingDev and our participation with #CFSPQuestions.

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Commercial Farm Service Program Pesticide Training

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The USAID – US Agency for International Development Commercial Farm Service Program, implemented by CNFA as part of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Initiative, held a three-week pesticide applicators’ training in June for agronomists in Ethiopia. Through the training, individuals learned the standards for safe handling and application of pesticides and were provided with the information and skills they need to safely apply restricted use pesticides.

On July 4, representatives from USAID and the Ministry of Agriculture attended a ceremony held for each trainee who passed the final test. Each certified participant received a Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kit and will now have the opportunity to help other farmers safely handle pesticides.

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Empowering Smallholder Farmers with Inputs and Information

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Read about CNFA’s Commercial Farm Service Program featured on Feed the Future’s blog!

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CNFA Places in Feed the Future’s Photo Contest

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CNFA places 3 out of 10 spots in the Feed the Future photo contest.  The CNFA photos come from Ethiopia’s Commercial Farm Service Program and Bangladesh’s Agro-Inputs Project.

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