Agricultural Growth Program – Livestock Market Development

Agricultural Growth Program – Livestock Market Development

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Overview:

The six-year (2012-2018), $41.1 million Agricultural Growth Program-Livestock Market Development (AGP-LMD) project was a livestock market development project funded by USAID, as part of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Initiative. AGP-LMD fostered growth, created jobs for rural households and reduced hunger and malnutrition by increasing the competitiveness of livestock value chains, including meat and dairy.

The project was part of USAID’s broader contribution to the Government of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Growth Program, which increased agricultural productivity and market access for crop and livestock products in targeted areas while bolstering the participation of women and youth. Additionally, CNFA supported local partner organizations to lead interventions through existing cooperatives, associations, government agencies and private firms, spurring sustainable economic growth in Ethiopia.

Approach:

  1. Increased Productivity and Competitiveness of Selected Livestock Value Chains: AGP-LMD provided training to livestock producers, enabling them to improve their production and increase their competitiveness in domestic and international markets. They also built the capacity of agro-input retailers and private farm suppliers to expand their businesses and offer improved commercial farm inputs and services.
  2. Improved Enabling Environment for Livestock Value Chains: The AGP-LMD team facilitated policy discussions to reform bottlenecks and involved a variety of stakeholders in project workshops and platforms. The project also built capacity for public and private sector actors, coordinated linkages with other USAID programs and applied research to yield successful interventions. Over the life of the project, AGP-LMD developed and supported 11 livestock-related policies, regulations and administrative procedures.
  3. Improved Quality and Diversity of Household Diets: AGP-LMD integrated communications and community mobilization efforts related to nutritional practices throughout its activities, targeting improvements in quality and dietary diversity for children under two and people living with HIV/AIDS. Through development agents and health extension workers, AGP-LMD reached more than 160,000 people with nutrition messaging.
  4. Facilitated Women’s Empowerment: AGP-LMD trained more than 400 women entrepreneurs in business and leadership, equipping them with skills like time management, strategic planning, business relationship management and information and communications technology (ICT) to help them participate more formally in the marketplace, increase their savings, improve the quality of their products and strengthen their household decision-making power.

Partners:

 

Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze Activity

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Overview:

Over the past 20 years, Rwanda has made remarkable progress and the country’s economy has been growing steadily at roughly eight percent since 2001.[1] The agricultural sector plays a central role in Rwanda’s economy, accounting for 39 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), 80 percent of employment, and 90 percent of the country’s food needs.[2]

Despite this impressive growth, significant challenges to agricultural productivity and market participation remain, including constraints on land availability for cultivation, degradation of the country’s soil and natural resource base, lack of access to agricultural inputs and mechanization, and recurring extreme climatic events. The performance of the agricultural sector is closely linked to Rwanda’s overall nutritional profile and undernutrition remains a pervasive problem, further impacting Rwanda’s economy. About 33% of children under five are malnourished.[3] Stunting in children is attributed to food insecurity and poverty, inadequate feeding (poor complementary feeding practices) and inadequate environments.

The Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze activity is a five-year, $32.6 million USAID-funded activity that aims to sustainably increase smallholder farmers’ income, improve the nutritional status of women of reproductive age (15-49) and children under two, and increase the resilience of Rwanda’s agricultural and food systems to a changing climate.

Program Approach:

Hinga Weze works through holistic interventions that target the interrelated issues of undernutrition, food insecurity, barriers to agricultural productivity, and other challenges. Specifically, the activity focuses on the sustainable intensification of Rwandan smallholder farming systems, with emphasis on climate-smart, nutrition-sensitive approaches and social behavior change to the production and consumption of five value chains including nutritious foods: high-iron beans, Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP), Irish potato, maize, and horticulture.

The activity will support over 733,000 smallholder farmers to sustainably enhance productivity, increase incomes to purchase nutritious foods and improve household nutrition outcomes in the following ten target districts: Gatsibo, Kayonza, Bugesera, Ngoma (Eastern Province); Nyabihu, Rutsiro, Ngororero, Nyamasheke, and Karongi (Western Province); and Nyamagabe (Southern Province).

  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 increases 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:

The Hinga Weze consortium includes a diverse group of both international and local Rwandan partner organizations, including Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), the prime, Rwanda Development Organization (RDO) and Imbaraga Farmers’ Federation. The activity achieves results by promoting household and community-level behavior changes through cost-effective interventions and a systems approach that prioritizes collaboration with stakeholders from the government, private and civil society sectors and the community.

Footnotes:

[1] NISR (2015) Rwanda Poverty Profile Report, 2013/14. National Institute of Statistics, Rwanda.

[2] Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (2013) Strategic Plan for the Transformation of Agriculture in Rwanda Phase III. Republic of Rwanda.

[3] Rwanda Demographic and Health survey 2020.

Feed the Future Guinea Strengthening Agriculture Value Chains and Youth

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Overview:

The CNFA-implemented Feed the Future Strengthening Agriculture Value Chains and Youth (SAVY) Program (2016-2018) facilitated improved access to agricultural inputs, credit tools and market information along the rice, horticulture and livestock value chains in Guinea. 

Approach:

The $11 million SAVY program, which fell under the Guinea Agricultural Services (GAS) project, was funded by USAID and implemented in partnership with six international nongovernmental organizations focused on animal health promotion and animal disease outbreak mitigation, financial inclusion and market facilitation. These three intervention areas had one major cross-cutting activity, the Apprentissage en Vulgarisation, Entreprenariat et Innovation Rurale (AVENIR) (Apprenticeship in Extension, Entrepreneurism and Rural Innovation) program, which engaged 85 entrepreneurial and ambitious youth and provided training, mentoring and work experience needed to become successful entrepreneurs and change agents in a competitive agricultural sector. 

  1. Developed Human and Institutional Capactiy: CNFA collaborated with the Strengthening Market-led Agricultural Research, Technology, and Education (SMARTE) program implemented by Winrock International to implement the AVENIR program.
  2. Boosted Private Sector Engagement and Entrepreneurship: SAVY activities increased positive risk-taking, the use of mobile money and access to and use of affordable credit tools to facilitate new market linkages.
  3. Supported Women’s Empowerment: SAVY activities facilitated opportunities for women in the horticulture and livestock value chains and in processing and marketing activities. The program mitigated 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:

Maximizing Opportunities in Cocoa Activity (MOCA)

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Overview:

Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa sector is valued at $4 billion annually. As the country’s number-one export and foreign exchange earner, it also represents more than 40 percent of the world’s cocoa supply. As a whole, the crop contributes to roughly 15 percent of the West African nation’s gross domestic product.

Earnings from the cultivation and sale of cocoa support five million people in Côte d’Ivoire, including an estimated one million smallholder farmers and their families. On average, these farmers live on less than $2.00 per day and grow cocoa on small plots of between two to five hectares with low or declining productivity.

These smallholder cocoa farmers have limited capacity to increase the amount of quality beans they can sell, which would otherwise be a viable means of increasing their incomes and improving their livelihoods. This is of great concern to the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, which is engaged in its own efforts to strengthen the country-wide capacity to meet rising global demand and improve domestic processing operations. The Government currently maintains a goal of keeping 50 percent of cocoa processing in-country.

To support the cocoa sector in addressing these and other challenges, CNFA is implementing the three-year Maximizing Opportunities in Cocoa Activity (MOCA) from 2017 to 2021.

This $14.6 million USDA Food for Progress activity focuses on increasing the productivity and efficiency of actors in the cocoa value chain. It also seeks to expand the trade of cocoa and cocoa products by improving the quality of crops on existing Government-designated farmland, all towards boosting farmer incomes from these high-value commodities.

Program Approach:

MOCA increases the productivity and efficiency of actors in the cocoa value chain by strengthening the capacity of producers, cooperatives, producer groups, input suppliers and processors of cocoa.

Activities to improve and expand the trade of cocoa and cocoa products focus on reducing losses during production, harvest and post-harvest by increasing access to quality inputs and services; enhancing production, harvest and post-harvest handling techniques; strengthening market linkages; and facilitating access to finance and financial services for producers and cooperatives to more adequately meet existing market opportunities.

These activities occur primarily in the cocoa belt regions of Côte d’Ivoire, where MOCA works with 24 cooperatives and 9,000 producers, input service providers, local processors, financial service providers, exporters and U.S.-based chocolatiers.

  1. Supporting Producer Groups & Cooperatives: MOCA supported farmer cooperatives in areas such as cooperative governance, general and financial management practices and systems, human resources management, access to finance, service delivery, external relations with input and service suppliers and buyers, gender integration and sustainability.
  2. Working with Government & Institutions: MOCA closely coordinated its activities with the Conseil Café et Cacao (CCC) and used the expertise of Côte d’Ivoire’s Agence Nationale d’Appui au Développement Rural (ANADER) and Centre National de Recherche Agronomique (CNRA) to provide services to farmers and cooperatives.
  3. Providing Business Development Services (BDS): MOCA delivered BDS support to over 30 cocoa entrepreneurs and cooperatives in rural and urban areas in business planning, market linkages, capacity building, environmental awareness and the establishment of businesses and business infrastructure.
  4. Facilitating Agricultural Lending: The Activity partnered with six banks, micro-finance institutions (MFIs) and financial service providers to increase over 3,500 producers’ access to and benefit from the use of mobile money, insurances and credit services to pilot new financial services such as crop insurance.
  5. Providing In-Kind Grants for Equipment and Inputs: MOCA awarded 12 in-kind grants valued at $350,000 to entrepreneurs and cooperatives throughout the cocoa value chain in the form of agricultural inputs and equipment.
  6. Developing Agrodealers & Input Suppliers: In collaboration with OLAM, the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Jacobs Foundation, MOCA established five spray-service professionals’ units (SSPUs). These SSPU’s provide 125 mostly male rural youth opportunities to engage in cocoa service provision. They also provide affordable fee-based services facilitated by cooperatives for other producers. MOCA also established a network of Farm Service Centers (FSCs) in partnership with Callivoire/UPL. These FSCs improve smallholder access to quality inputs and equipment in MOCA’s zones of intervention and further develop collaboration between producers and agrodealers through improved training and training spaces by these input suppliers.
  7. Training on Improved Production Techniques: MOCA provided training and pruning tools to 9,000 producers through a network of 170 lead farmers from over 20 supported cooperatives with the objective of increasing production and reducing losses due to black pod disease. MOCA also worked in close collaboration with Guittard Chocolate and producers from two cooperatives to produce quality flavor cacao. The first container of quality flavor cacao beans resulting from this initiative was exported in February 2021.
  8. Facilitating Market Relationships: The Activity partnered with the Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA) to increase awareness around quality flavor cacao opportunities in Cote d’Ivoire. MOCA also supported the ambitions of two cooperatives to access new market parties and directly export their products.

Partners:

  1. SOCODEVI

Feed the Future Ethiopia Farm Service Center Project

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Overview:

The two-year, $2.9 million Feed the Future Ethiopia Farm Service Center Project (2015-2017), funded by USAID, provided technical support to the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) in establishing 19 Farm Service Centers (FSCs) throughout the Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR and Tigray regions of Ethiopia. This was a follow-on project to the successful USAID Commercial Farm Service Program, which piloted CNFA’s Farm Service Center solution in Ethiopia

Approach:

  1. Increased Income and Access to Finance: In Ethiopia, CNFA’s FSCs, a market-based private sector solution, applied a matching grant and training methodology to establish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that deliver farm supplies and services. Located in townships, the FSCs served as rural development centers that met the needs of private farmers in their communities. These centers improved access to finance and increased sustainable income by providing a range of agricultural inputs, machinery services, veterinary services and products, marketing assistance for agricultural outputs, training and information and access to credit.
  2. Improved Food Security: The growing network of Farm Service Center retailers positively impacted thousands of smallholder farmers across Ethiopia and increased the viability and food security of the entire region. Additionally, ATA’s monitoring and evaluation information systems ensured that the full impact of this transformation was captured and leveraged to continually integrate lessons learned.
  3. Promoted Gender Equality: The project ensured that gender integration and environmental mitigation measures were fully incorporated in the roll-out of all new Farm Service Centers.

Agro-Inputs Project

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Overview:

CNFA implemented the five-year (2021-2017), $14 million USAID-funded Agro-Inputs Project (AIP) to improve the knowledge of and access to quality agricultural inputs for farmers in the Feed the Future (FtF) zone of Bangladesh. Through the establishment of a sustainable Agro-Input Retailers Network (AIRN), CNFA provided trainings and technical assistance on business management and ethics, basic agronomics, safe use and handling of pesticides and other related topics to 3,000 agro-input retailers. AIP activities specifically targeted 300 women retailers through grant fundings, tailored training and advisory activities to encourage women’s participation in the agro-inputs sector. AIRN members served 1 million smallholder farmers, impacting more than 5 million individuals across 20 southern districts of Bangladesh and generating more than $100 million in sales

Approach:

Building on extensive experience in the development of agrodealer networks across Europe and Africa, CNFA’s approach supported the development of AIRN as a high-quality technical training and advisory service provider to ultimately increase smallholder production and productivity. Recognizing the importance of gender sensitivity and environmental consciousness to this approach, CNFA integrated both into every aspect of AIP to ensure equity and sustainability in our programming. AIP’s core intervention outcomes included:

  1. Established Input and Service Provider Network: AIP established AIRN, a first-of-its-kind agro-inputs training organization and service provider in the Feed the Future zone.
  2. Distributed Market Information: The program improved the effectiveness of the agricultural inputs market information system (MIS) through distribution of Monthly Price Outlook Bulletins supported by an innovative GIS platform containing data on input distributions networks, client concentrations, cropping patterns and product and price trends to our retailers. In addition, the project created demand for improved quality inputs among farmers through 500 input demonstration plots.
  3. Enhanced Knowledge and Application of Quality Standards: CNFA improved recognition of and demand for quality inputs through a multi-media awareness campaign designed to encourage retailers and farmers to purchase quality agro-inputs. In addition, AIP worked with industry associations, their members and the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) to improve industry standards for major crops.
  4. Strengthened Local Organizations: CNFA helped local organizations to become future implementers of USAID activities. For example, capacity building and financial assistance was provided to industry association partners, AIRN, Bangladesh Fertilizer Association and Bangladesh Crop Protection Association, and a wide range of local NGOs and private sector entities.

Partnering Input Supply Companies:

Rural Economic Development in Southern Regions of Georgia

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Overview:

The Rural Economic Development Program (RED) (2012-2016) for the Southern Regions of Georgia was a joint Danish-Swiss program that aimed to contribute to the economic growth of the agriculture sector and reduce poverty in the Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli regions. The four-year, $11.5 million Rural Economic Development Program focused on three main initiatives: increased productivity and profitability of seed and ware potato producers; increased productivity and profitability of commercial dairies, milk and beef producers; and private investment in potato, dairy and livestock value chains.

Approach:

  1. Improved Productivity and Marketing: The program advised and provided guidance on production and marketing of seed and ware potatoes, raw milk and other dairy products.
  2. Boosted Investment in Key Value Chains: RED stimulated direct private investment in program-targeted activities using two financing mechanisms: a secured lending facility and a co-investment fund.

The impact of RED on smallholder farmers and agricultural enterprises involved in the target regions was substantial. With the tailor-made technical assistance and increased private investment in the potato, dairy and livestock value chains, targeted value chain actors – including farmers – reached higher productivity and improved incomes, in turn, leading to economic growth of the region.

 

Liberia Agribusiness Development Activity

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Overview:

In Liberia, CNFA implemented the $19.3 million Feed the Future Liberia Agribusiness Development Activity (LADA) (2015-2020), funded by USAID. LADA aimed 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 used 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.
  2. Training and Capacity Building: LADA established 24 different aggregation clusters across the country to select appropriate agribusinesses, sustainable and transparent cooperatives and established agrodealers to provide specialized trainings and certifications.
  3. Financial Management: LADA managed a credit guarantee facility to catalyze the extension of credit to agrodealers by supply companies and financial institutions to mitigate the high risk associated with agricultural lending. Another financial tool, the Agribusiness Investment Network (AIN), was established and is housed with LADA’s local sub-implementer, Business Start-Up Center (BSC) Monrovia in order to provide a platform through which agricultural and agribusiness agents, NGOs and financial institutions can interact.
  4. Increasing Access to Market Information and Digital Financial Services: Enclude, a CNFA partner, explored the development of a digital financial services product portfolio, delivery channels and risk management mechanisms for LADA. This technology allows smallholders to make better-informed decisions for production, processing and marketing processes through value chain gap analyses.
  5. Youth, Gender and Social Capital: LADA targeted youth in the project’s agrodealer development interventions and linked smallholder farming youth groups to aggregators and buyers. CNFA also employed a full-time Gender Specialist who mapped gender roles and decision-making power within the targeted value chains, ascertained gender roles and examined 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

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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.)