Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze Activity

Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze Activity

Posted On: Filed Under:

Overview:

The Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze Activity is a five-year USAID-funded project (2017-2022) that aims to sustainably increase smallholder farmers’ income, improve the nutritional status of women and children, and increase the resilience of Rwanda’s agricultural and food systems to a changing climate. By 2022, the project will have benefited over 700,000 smallholder farmers in ten target districts: Bugesera, Gatsibo, Kayonza, and Ngoma (Eastern Province); Karongi, Ngororero, Nyabihu, Nyamasheke, and Rutsiro (Western Province); and Nyamagabe (Southern Province) and across five value chains: high-iron beans, orange flesh sweet potato (OFSP), Irish potato, maize, and horticulture.

Program Approach:

  1. Increasing Sustainable Agricultural Productivity: Hinga Weze focuses on interventions that support an integrated systems approach to agriculture productivity and that follow the principles of sustainable land and water use, with particular attention to climate-smart technologies of relevance to Rwanda, facilitating the resilience of farming systems by improving water management, preventing soil erosion, and maximizing the effectiveness of input use;
  2. Expanding Farmers’ Access to Markets: In order to enhance farmers’ competitiveness and expand access to markets, Hinga Weze is increasing access to post-harvest equipment and facilities, market information, and credit and financial services;
  3. Improving Nutritional Outcome of Agriculture Interventions: Hinga Weze is focused on strengthening the link between agriculture and nutrition to improve the nutritional status of its communities and families.

Partners:

  1. Plan International
  2. Souktel
  3. Rwanda Development Organisation
  4. Imbaraga Farmer’s Federation

Maximizing Opportunities in Cocoa Activity

Posted On: Filed Under:

Overview:

CNFA has implemented the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Maximizing Opportunities in Cocoa Activity (MOCA) (2017-2020), focused on increasing the productivity and efficiency of actors in the cocoa value chain to expand the trade of cocoa and cocoa products, improve the quality of cocoa, and increase farmer income.

Cote d’Ivoire’s cocoa sector represents more than one-third of the world’s cocoa supply and the country’s number one export, supporting 3.5 million people — including 600,000 smallholder farmers and their families, who have limited capacity to increase the amount of quality beans they can sell. CNFA works with cocoa cooperatives, smallholder farmers, the Government of Cote d’Ivoire, and the private sector to tackle some of these market issues.

Program Approach:

  1. Supporting Producer Groups & Cooperatives: MOCA supports farmer cooperatives in areas such as governance, management, human resources, finance, service delivery, external relations with input and service suppliers and buyers, and sustainability;
  2. Working with Government & Institutions: The project supports government institutions in expanding research on and propagation of disease-resistant and improved cocoa seeds and seedlings, as well as increasing farmer access to these enhanced inputs through MOCA’s grant mechanism and technical assistance facility;
  3. Providing Business Development Services (BDS): MOCA delivers BDS support to cocoa processors and businesses in rural and urban areas, and targets entrepreneurs who would like to launch businesses along the value chain in cocoa grinding and processing, value addition, and pooled transportation;
  4. Facilitating Agricultural Lending: The project partners with banks and micro-finance institutions (MFIs) to increase producer access to and use of mobile money, insurance, and credit services, as well as to pilot new financial services such as crop insurance and delivery channels for cash and in-kind credit;
  5. In-Kind Grants for Equipment and Inputs: MOCA distributes competitive, in-kind matching grants to cooperatives, producers, input supply professionals, and processors throughout the cocoa value chain, which complements research and adoption of improved productivity and post-harvest handling practices;
  6. Developing Agro-dealers & Input Suppliers: MOCA trains and establishes a network of “spray-service professionals” (SSPs) who provide affordable, fee-based services facilitated by cooperatives for other producers;
  7. Training on Improved Production Techniques: MOCA develops and leads a pilot program to regenerate plantations for cocoa producers (individuals) in the cocoa belt region, prioritizing applications from women and youth;
  8. Facilitate Buyer-Seller Relationships: The project improves market access by targeting support to unorganized farmers, associations, and cooperatives that do not currently have formal relationships with exporters and facilitate linkages with reputable cocoa processors and buyers.

Partners:

  1. SOCODEVI

Feed the Future Nigeria and Nestle Maize Quality Improvement Partnership

Posted On: Filed Under:

Overview:

The Feed the Future Nigeria and Nestlé Maize Quality Improvement Partnership (M-QIP) (2017-2020) enhances the quality and safety of maize and soybeans available to Nestlé’s food processing factories while supporting USAID’s goals of revitalizing Nigeria’s agriculture sector and improving nutrition along these cereal value chains. The partnership will utilize a “whole-of-supply-chain” approach to enhance the quality, safety, and transparency of the Nestlé supply chain.

Program Approach:

  1. Capacity Building of Smallholder Farmer Suppliers: To catalyze better conduct and performance in the maize and soybean value chains in Kaduna State, our activities focus on the three main stakeholder groups within the supply chains: smallholder farmers, intermediaries, and input retailers;
  2. Capacity Building of Local Organizations: With the support of the Nigeria Youth Service Corps program and local extension agents, M-QIP catalogs and maps the many associations and cooperatives that play a role in improving the yield and product quality of smallholder farmers in the maize and soybean growing regions and along market routes, specifically near Nestlé’s current sourcing areas and storage networks. Through this process, CNFA kick-starts and sustains engagement with the M-QIP program with all stakeholders, including Nestlé corporate employees, farmers’ associations, government extension service providers, and community leaders.

Partners:

  1. Purdue University

Feed the Future Guinea Strengthening Agriculture Value Chains and Youth

Posted On: Filed Under:

Overview:

The CNFA-implemented Feed the Future Strengthening Agriculture Value Chains and Youth (SAVY) Program (2016-2021) aims to facilitate improved access to agricultural inputs, credit tools, and market information along the rice, horticulture, and livestock value chains in Guinea.

Program Approach:

The SAVY program falls under the Guinea Agricultural Services (GAS) project, funded by USAID and in partnership with six international NGOs focused on animal health promotion and animal disease outbreak mitigation, financial inclusion, and market facilitation. These three intervention areas have one major cross-cutting activity, the Apprentissage en Vulgarisation, Entreprenariat et Innovation Rurale (Apprenticeship in Extension, Entrepreneurism, and Rural Innovation- AVENIR) program, which aims to engage up to 320 entrepreneurial and ambitious young men and women, and provides the training, mentoring, and work experience needed to become successful entrepreneurs and change agents in a competitive agricultural sector.

  1. Human and Institutional Capacity Development (HICD): CNFA collaborates with the Strengthening Market-led Agricultural Research, Technology, and Education (SMARTE) program implemented by Winrock International (Winrock) to implement the AVENIR program.
  2. A Focus on Private Sector Engagement and Entrepreneurship: SAVY activities aim to increase positive risk-taking, the use of mobile money, and access to and use of affordable credit tools to facilitate new market linkages.
  3. Women’s Empowerment: SAVY activities facilitate opportunities for women in the horticulture and livestock value chains, and in processing and marketing activities. The project works to mitigate constraints faced by women and female youth, such as limited access to and understanding of credit, heavier work burdens, and limited ability to make decisions about agricultural production, expenditures, and division of land parcels.

Partners:

  1. Strengthening Market-led Agricultural Research, Technology, and Education (SMARTE) program implemented by Winrock International (Winrock International)
  2. World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO)
  3. Enclude Inc.

Liberia Agribusiness Development Activity

Posted On: Filed Under:

Overview:

In Liberia, CNFA has implemented the Feed the Future Liberia Agribusiness Development Activity (LADA) (2015-2020), funded by USAID. LADA aims to increase incomes of smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs throughout Liberia to expand access to and use of agricultural inputs, improve post-harvest handling activities, and streamline high-potential agricultural value chains.

Program Approach:

  1. Linking Markets Through Private Sector Engagement: LADA uses a results-driven and sustainability approach to increase private sector investment in agricultural input systems, post-harvest handling, transport, and processing activities, and to strengthen the market environment with information, advocacy, and support;
  1. Training and Capacity Building: LADA has established 24 different aggregation clusters across the country to select appropriate agribusinesses, sustainable and transparent cooperatives, and has established agro-dealers to provide specialized trainings and certifications;
  2. Financial Management: LADA manages a credit guarantee facility to catalyze the extension of credit to agro-dealers by supply companies and financial institutions to mitigate the high risk associated with agricultural lending. Another financial tool, the Agribusiness Investment Network (AIN), is housed in BSC Monrovia in order to provide a platform through which agricultural and agribusiness agents, NGOs, and financial institutions can interact;
  3. Increasing Access to Market Information and Digital Financial Services: Enclude, a CNFA partner, is exploring the development of a DFS product portfolio, delivery channels, and risk management mechanisms for LADA. This technology will allow smallholders to make better-informed decisions for production, processing, and marketing processes through value chain gap analyses;
  4. Youth, Gender and Social Capital: LADA targets youth in the project’s agro-dealer development interventions and will link smallholder farming youth groups to aggregators and buyers. CNFA also employs a full-time Gender Specialist who maps gender roles and decision-making power within the targeted value chains, ascertains gender roles, and examines issues related to women’s time, workloads, access to information, and control over resources.

Partners:

  1. Enclude
  2. Business Start-Up Center Monrovia’s network
  3. The Global Cold Chain Alliance

Mobilization of REGIS-AG and its partners in promoting animal health

Posted On: Filed Under:

Newcastle disease: an obstacle in the development of the Nigerien poultry value chain

Newcastle disease[1] is a highly contagious viral disease negatively affecting poultry in the West African region where 40-70% of unvaccinated rural poultry are killed by the disease. The risk and impact of the virus, which spreads easily throughout flocks, can vary in severity from strain to strain and is also dependent on environmental conditions (such as immunity and the animal’s overall health). Outbreaks can occur at any time of the year, but happen with greater frequency during the cold season. Vaccination is the only prevention method for this disease and there is currently an effective, affordable vaccine (50 CFAF / subject) that is heat-stable and easy use for the smallholder farmers (administered by eye drop) that is produced in Niger. The vaccine is called I-2 vaccine (produced with strain I-2 virus) and is critical in the effort to promote animal health in Niger and the Sahelian region.

Mobilization of REGIS –AG and its partners in promoting animal health

To significantly reduce the mortality rate of poultry in Niger, the NGO « Poulailler du Développement » provided the I-2 vaccine and sought the support of REGIS -AG project to organize a broad awareness campaign, in order to inform poultry farmers on the control of Newcastle disease, encourage producers to allow auxiliary veterinarian networks (SVPP) administer the I-2 vaccine. This operation was conducted in November 2015 in the Tillaberi region with support[2] from REGIS–AG and REGIS -ER and continues to stimulate much enthusiasm in rural areas.

723,704 subjects were vaccinated in the Tillaberi campaign, including chickens, guinea fowl, pigeons, and ducks.

One beneficiary, Mrs Aissa Harouna Konne of Beri, testifies to the women’s enthusiasm saying, “This is the first time that such an activity is held in our village. Poultry farming is practiced by almost all households in the village. It is the only source of income of the households, especially of women. This is a very important source of income. It represents one of the few opportunities of savings, investment and protection against risk. However, for a long time every year we have to restock because of the diseases, particularly ‘ zounkou , koitou , kekoga ‘  ( traditional name for the Newcastle disease) . I still remember 5 years ago, these diseases were not frequent; family poultry farm size was twice the size of farms that we have these recent years. The campaign of vaccination against the disease is a very valuable initiative. “

The Tillaberri vaccination campaign against the Newcastle disease was extremely successful and partners both in the public and private sector are working to replicate similar activities in Maradi and Zinder. REGIS-AG and partners REGIS-ER and VSF will work together to facilitate and scale up this beneficial activity to its other operational areas.

[1]It is also called “Newcastle disease “,” avian pneumoencephalitis “or “Ranikhet disease.” It is also known under the generic name of “fowl plague”.

[2] This support has focused on the management of vaccinators and the elements responsible for the supervision and the awareness and visibility of the campaign (knitwear for vaccinators and educational messages via radio.)

Georgia Hazelnut Improvement Project

Posted On: Filed Under:

Overview:

The Georgia Hazelnut Improvement Project (G-HIP) is a five-year project (2015-2020) funded and implemented by the Global Development Alliance (GDA) (USAID, Ferrero, and CNFA) to increase the sustainable capacity and private sector development of the hazelnut industry in Georgia.

Hazelnuts represent Georgia’s largest agricultural export by value and support the livelihoods of more than 50,000 growers and processors, but due to inconsistent quality and lack of market distinction, Georgian hazelnuts often sell at lower prices. The Alliance will transform and streamline the hazelnut value chain to improve the quality of Georgian hazelnuts.

Program Approach:

  1. Capacity Building and Association Development: G-HIP provides training to beneficiaries such as the Georgian Hazelnut Growers Association (GHGA) and the Hazelnut Exporters and Processors Association (HEPA) to strengthen the capacity of the existing drying and storage infrastructure and maximize impact in the sector;
  2. Increased Productivity and Competitiveness: G-HIP implements activities to mitigate inefficient value chain dynamics, including the introduction of a post-harvest quality incentive system, technology upgrades to post-harvest infrastructure, and improved access to finance for value chain stakeholders;
  3. Infrastructure Development and Marketing: To expand export marketing opportunities for Georgian hazelnuts, GHGA initiates efforts to improve traceability and widen the use of soil testing to enhance hazelnut quality along the value chain.

Feed the Future Egypt Food Security and Agribusiness Support

Posted On: Filed Under:

Overview:

CNFA has implemented the USAID Feed the Future Egypt Food Security and Agribusiness Support project (2015-2020) to increase incomes and improve food security for at least 14,000 Upper Egyptian smallholder farmers across seven focal governorates – including Assiut, Aswan, Beni-Suef, Luxor, Minya, Qena, and Sohag. Over five years, the project will improve health and educational opportunities for women and youth as well as increase household purchasing power.

Program Approach:

Egypt FAS uses an “agricultural value chain” approach to improve horticulture productivity, access to markets, value-adding activities, and commercial linkages with input and service suppliers.

  1. Improved Market Systems: FAS supports improved on-farm production, more efficient post-harvest processes, and improved marketing of agriculture crops and products;
  2. Improved Nutritional Status of Women and Children: FAS integrates nutrition-sensitive agriculture by increasing income opportunities and nutrition education in its target regions;
  3. Gender Inclusivity and Sensitivity: Gender is a cross-cutting issue in the FAS project and is considered throughout the program;
  4. Improved Agricultural Inputs and Services: FAS strengthens input suppliers, agriculture processors and support services, and leverages proven ICT capabilities to bring interventions to scale;
  5. Governance and Private Sector Engagement: The project creates a policy-enabling environment and instills an understanding of the role of value chain governance as well as the recognition of the importance of inter-firm relationships and stakeholder participation.

Partners:

  1. Winrock International
  2. Arizona State University
  3. World Food Logistics Organization

For One Woman, Amalima Training and Eco-stove Offer a New Outlook on Life

Posted On: Filed Under:

Esnath Tshuma, 45, lives in Tjompani village with her 13 year-old nephew, Tandana. Esnath is a strong-willed woman who has worked hard throughout the years, but her life irrevocably changed after sustaining a severe injury three years ago. In November of 2012, Esnath was repairing a fence in her field, when she turned and lodged her foot in the fence. She fell, twisting her leg and fracturing a bone in the process. The injury resulted in paralysis of her leg and impaired mobility of her right hand. She is now limited to walking with crutches, as well as a using a plastic yard chair in lieu of a proper wheelchair to maneuver around her compound.

Her husband travelled to South Africa to look for work in August 2015, but has not been able to find a steady source of income. She receives a bit of money from her brother who works in Bulawayo, but since her injury, she has been relying on the kindness of her neighbors and the sale of her own personal items, like used blankets and dresses, to make ends meet.

“After my injury in 2012, I felt like I couldn’t do anything and was spending a lot of time sitting around idle,” said Esnath. She explained that due to her disability, she was no longer able to perform most of her daily activities like fetching water, collecting firewood, and farming. Cooking over an open fire on the ground was a particularly uncomfortable task, but she was unwilling to give up this role.

Esnath was thrilled when in early 2014, her sister-in-law, Tshihomanana Tshuma, offered to build her a clay stove that would allow her to sit while cooking. Tshihomanana participated in an Amalima training to learn how to build an environmentally friendly, fuel-efficient ‘eco-stove.’ After learning how to work with the clay, she realized that she could easily build a platform for Esnath’s eco-stove to allow for cooking while seated. The results were perfect; not only is Esnath able to complete her daily chores with increased comfort, but due to the eco-stove’s fuel-efficiency, her young nephew saves time and energy searching for increasingly scarce firewood in the bush.

Tshihomanana learned about Amalima’s Community Health Clubs (CHC) through the eco-stove training, and asked Esnath to join her in participating. CHCs promote increased awareness of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices in communities through completion of a 20 module Participatory Health and Hygiene Education (PHHE) training. CHCs foster learning for change through promotion of practical improvements at the household level to change the behaviors of community members in favor of a more hygienic environment. In March 2014, 16 women and one man from Tjompani village established the Mukani CHC and began receiving lessons from Nosizo Dube, their neighbor and Community Based Facilitator (CBF).

“After joining the CHC, I realized that I could stand up for myself and do something with my life,” noted Esnath. The lessons highlighted vital steps to improving hygiene that Esnath was capable of completing at home, such as sweeping, washing hands at critical times, using a 2-cup water system, rubbish disposal and cleaning dishes. Perhaps more importantly, belonging to the club gave her a special comradery with her group members. The members proved to be more than just a social outlet; recognizing her needs, the group pitched in to build Esnath a tippy-tap hand washing station, a private bathing area, and a rubbish pit at her homestead.

Mukani Success Story CNFA

Left: Esnath and Tshihomanana with her private bathing area. Right: Mukani members wash hands at Esnath’s tippy-tap.

After completing the PHHE sessions, all 17 Mukani CHC members graduated at a community-wide ceremony. After this milestone, the members recognized a positive momentum with their initiative and made the decision to continue working together as a Village Savings and Lending (VS&L) group. To make this transition, they received training on VS&L methodology from Amalima, including group formation, constitution development, group fund development, loans and loan appraisal, and record keeping.

Mukani group held its first VS&L meeting in August 2015. Their objective is to save for short-term needs such as food, kitchen utensils and school fees, as well as to pool financial resources for larger, higher-impact income generating activities. The group’s long-term goal is to establish a poultry business with their savings. At each meeting, hosted by a different member on rotation, members make a $10 contribution. Each month $10 is set aside for group savings and investment in their poultry business, which they hope to establish later this year. The remaining cash is used to provide the hosting member with kitchen utensils and a goat valued at approximately $35. The balance is then shared out evenly among members for their household use. The group has $70 saved to date.

mukani

Tandana and Esnath together at home.

Esnath already has plans to grow her small livestock herd with the goat she received from hosting the December 2015 meeting. She is also looking forward to being involved in the poultry income generating activity to become economically self-sufficient; the group considered her accessibility when selecting where the chicken coop will be located.

After receiving her eco-stove and joining the Mukani club, Esnath recognized her ability to lead a full life. The training Esnath received from Amalima is invaluable, yet the support and friendship from her group members has been as vital to her livelihood. She is grateful for the opportunity to join the CHC. “It has given me a sense of purpose,” she says.