Quality Technologies Revitalizing Agriculture

Quality Technologies Revitalizing Agriculture

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USAID’s Quality Technologies Revitalizing Agriculture (Q’tra) Activity (2023-2027) is a four-year, $36 million activity aimed at transforming agricultural practices in the West Bank and Gaza (WBG). Q’tra works with farmers to adopt tailored irrigation technologies and climate-smart agricultural practices, which facilitates increased productivity and climate resilience. The use of smart irrigation systems allows farmers to make more informed decisions about when and how much to irrigate their crops while optimizing the use of agrochemicals. Moreover, reducing unnecessary water use for irrigation and limiting the use of agrochemicals helps farmers increase the availability, quality, and environmental resilience of their water supplies. Shifting to solar-powered technologies also reduces energy consumption, contributing to measures that effectively help local communities build their resilience, improve their competitiveness, and mitigate the effects of climate change. Q’tra’s activities will take place in high vegetation water use hotspots areas across the West Bank and Gaza, primarily located in seven governorates: Tubas and Jericho (Jordan Valley), Jenin, Tulkarem, Qalqilya, and Hebron in the West Bank, and Rafah and Northern Gaza in Gaza.


  1. Improve the efficiency of water use for irrigation.
  2. Adapt and build  farmers resilience to climate change.


Q’tra uses a flexible co-investment fund to provide farmers, cooperatives, and water-user associations (WUAs) with appropriate, high-quality technologies and equipment such as low-flow emitters, computerized irrigation systems, plastic lining for ponds, aquaponic systems, hydroponic systems, solarization equipment, and reverse osmosis units. Through training and awareness raising, Q’tra builds the capacity of farmers to properly operate and maintain their new and upgraded technologies, improve production and irrigation practices, and manage climate risks. Q’tra also strengthens cooperatives and WUAs, enabling them to better serve their farmer members and communities to improve their water management, increase productivity, and improve climate resilience. Through collaboration with local stakeholders and NGOs, Q’tra also leverages local capacity and promotes the participation and social inclusion of women, youth, and people with disabilities.

Farmer-to-Farmer Program: Southern Africa

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The five-year USAID-funded John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Program connects expert volunteers working in the U.S. agriculture sector with host-country farmers, farm groups, agribusinesses, and other relevant institutions to strengthen agricultural value chains and promote sustainable improvements in food security and agricultural processing, production, and marketing.

The Program’s primary aim is to generate sustainable, broad-based economic growth in the agricultural sector through voluntary technical assistance. A secondary goal is to increase the U.S. public’s understanding of international development issues and programs and international understanding of the U.S. and U.S. development programs.


The Southern Africa F2F Program, implemented by Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), builds on partnerships established during the previous iteration of the program, which ran from 2018-2023. With a focus on rural enterprise development, the Program employs a market systems approach to address the barriers preventing smallholder farmers from accessing local market systems and opportunities. Technical assistance in production strengthening, enterprise development, and market facilitation helps farmers integrate into their local economies and identify opportunities for growth, improving incomes and contributing to regional economic development.

To diffuse innovative technologies and practices, the Program will also partner with Feed the Future Innovation Labs, U.S. universities, researchers, and leaders in the U.S. agribusiness sector. Additionally, the Program will continue its Processor-to-Processor initiative, a collaboration with the American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS) and Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab, which pairs AOCS members with agroprocessors in Southern Africa.​

Volunteer assignments are developed and implemented with a strong focus on climate-smart agriculture and inclusive development, emphasizing work with women, youth, and individuals with disabilities. Assignments focus on the following examples, among others:

  1. Production Strengthening:
    • Integrated Pest Management
    • Integrated Soil Fertility Management
    • Climate Smart Agriculture practices
    • Improved input and seed systems
    • Best practices in crop and livestock production
  2. Market Facilitation:
    • Market analysis
    • Pricing
    • Contract negotiations
    • Traceability, certification, and food safety
    • Outgrower scheme support
  3. Enterprise Development: 
    • Business management
    • Strategic planning
    • Organizational development
    • Financial management
    • Finance access

How To Become a Host or Volunteer

  1. Potential hosts and volunteers contact F2F to express interest in partnering with the Program.
  2. F2F develops a scope of work for each assignment based on the requirements of the host and experience of prospective volunteers.
  3. F2F matches hosts with volunteers based on their expertise and F2F’s available assignments. Please note that recruitment time varies depending on availability and that assignments usually last three weeks.
  4. In-country F2F teams provide logistical support for hosts and volunteers and hire translators as needed.

Learn More About the F2F Program: Contact us at f2frecruitment@cnfa.org

Feed the Future Zimbabwe Non-Timber Forest Products Global Development Alliance

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The five-year Feed the Future Zimbabwe Non-Timber Forest Products Global Development Alliance (NTFP GDA) works across 23 districts of Zimbabwe to expand the market for Zimbabwean non-timber forest products (NTFPs), such as baobab, marula, Kalahari melon, and Ximenia. The NTFP GDA—a partnership between USAID, CNFA, and Organic Africa—will train and engage new farmers and wild collectors as specialty-certified suppliers and develop new processing facilities and technologies to expand the domestic and international supply of natural ingredients from Zimbabwe.

Leveraging $7.7 million in private sector investment, the NTFP GDA seeks to provide new and sustainable income-generating opportunities for 12,000 smallholder farmers and wild collectors while protecting at least 160,000 hectares of forest and farmland through the introduction of improved community-led natural resource management, carbon market engagement, and organic farming practices. It also seeks to improve the resilience of vulnerable and marginalized communities, particularly women and youth, by increasing and diversifying household incomes and strengthening environmental stewardship from the commercialization of NTFPs in Zimbabwe.

By creating income-generating opportunities that rely on nutritious and diverse forest resources and by paying premium prices for products with organic, Fair Trade, FairWild, and UEBT certifications, the GDA will incentivize the protection of natural resources and the adoption of sustainable farming practices.


The NTFP GDA will expand Organic Africa’s geographic reach and community-based supplier network, building on the company’s core values of social, environmental, and economic sustainability.

The GDA will focus on three inter-related components to achieve its overall objectives:

  1. Increased Production and Supply: Through targeted training for 12,000 smallholder farmers and wild collectors and investment in tools for the local primary processing of raw materials, the NTFP GDA will improve the supply of NTFPs that meet market standards and increase income-generating opportunities in rural communities. Engaging new suppliers and other market actors in Organic Africa’s supply chain will provide men, women, and youth with the training and tools that they need to increase yields, enhance efficiency, and meet certification requirements to achieve premium pricing.
  2. Enhanced Product Quality: The GDA will introduce new processing equipment to improve efficiency and will expand community-based and commercial processing capacity and storage with investments in new facilities and expansions to existing facilities, creating new employment opportunities. The NTFP GDA will support Organic Africa to continue strengthening traceability systems and operating procedures, helping producers earn and maintain specialty certifications like organic, FairWild, Fair Trade, and UEBT, which carry social, environmental, and financial benefits for participants. Together, CNFA and Organic Africa will leverage the increased supply of certified NTFP products in local markets, expand access to high-value export markets, and grow the domestic availability of Zimbabwean natural ingredient products.
  3. Improved Natural Resource and Forest Management: The NTFP GDA will incentivize the sustainable use and protection of biodiverse forest areas and build the capacity of farmers, wild collectors, and community groups to effectively manage their natural resources. The GDA seeks to develop a voluntary carbon market offset activity to compensate communities for implementing environmental practices that reduce, sequester, or avoid CO2 emissions.


  • Organic Africa: a socially responsible family of companies, including Organic Africa, B’ayoba, and KaZa Natural Oils, founded and operating in Zimbabwe since 2007. Organic Africa specializes in partnering with farmers and wild collectors to supply sustainably and ethically produced natural ingredients, such as baobab, rosella, and natural oils, with specialty certifications for domestic and export markets. Organic Africa is a Zimbabwean social enterprise and leading producer, exporter, and domestic supplier of specialty-certified natural ingredients products.

USAID Economic Foundations for a Resilient Armenia

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USAID is investing in innovative, sustainable and scalable solutions to strengthen Armenia’s economic resilience, and promote competitiveness and economic governance through close collaboration with the public and private sectors. USAID Economic Foundations for a Resilient Armenia is a five-year (2023-2028), $24.5 million budget activity focusing on delivering technical assistance to the government and supporting the private sector and associations in the key areas of agriculture, tourism and high-tech industries.


  1. Institutional and human capacity: USAID Economic Foundations supports the Government of Armenia to deliver effective economic stewardship through improved institutional and human capacity and support the implementation of the Government’s 2021-2026 action plan. The Activity also aims to assist the Government in drafting key legal documents on export, entrepreneurship, investment and the targeted sectors.
  2. Export competitiveness: USAID Economic Foundations works with industry associations and anchor firms in tourism, high-tech and agriculture to help businesses increase sales, access high-value markets and improve competitiveness through enhanced quality of products, service delivery and export diversification. To promote sector competitiveness, USAID Economic Foundations supports industry organizations and other private collaborative entities to build their organizational capacity and improve and expand member services.
  3. Catalytic sectoral investments: To increase the availability and productive use of financial capital and promote catalytic sectoral investments, the Activity is developing an Investment Mobilization Platform, building a working network of investors, financial service providers, businesses and government partners.
  4. Response to economic shocks and opportunities: USAID Economic Foundations assists Armenia to take advantage of periods of economic growth and navigate economic downturns.

Amadoda Emadodeni: What it Means to be a Man

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“Indoda Emadodeni” (a man among men) is an Ndebele phrase used to distinguish a man who has accomplished feats of machismo in relation to his peers. The USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance-funded Amalima Loko activity is working with men across Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe, to reframe the term to distinguish men as leaders for gender norms change in their community.

Bra Ndosi is one of 12 men who are members of a “Male Champions” group in Nkayi district which formed in November 2022. These groups are part of a campaign led by Amalima Loko, which first began under the predecessor activity Amalima (2013-2020) in Matabeleland South. Local leadership and community members select male participants for the voluntary social groups, which seek to motivate and inspire men in target communities to become advocates for them and their peers to share in more responsibilities around the home and more equally carry the load of care work traditionally managed by women.

The approach recognizes that gender norms are often so entrenched in society that those impacted by them have never stopped to consider their effects. As men become more aware of the harmful nature of women bearing primary responsibility for the care work of the household and family, and begin to share more in those responsibilities, women are able to contribute more towards the productive advancement of the family, and children benefit from male involvement in child rearing and family health and nutrition, ultimately improving the wellbeing of the household.

“I was inspired by the realization that my wife performs more duties around the house than I do,” Ndosi said. “And unconsciously, I was taking that for granted because I thought that was her obligation towards me and the rest of the family. She would cook, go to the fields and take care of the children while I had few duties to attend to.”

Amalima Loko’s approach to Indoda Emadodeni as a behavior-change campaign seeks to address a variety of deep-rooted gender norms within communities, such as the household roles Ndosi references. Following the member identification process, the men commit to participating in a series of sessions facilitated by Amalima Loko. The sessions focus on analyzing behaviors around childcare, maternal and child nutrition and household hygiene and sanitation practices, and the role men play in these areas and in their families’ overall food security. The sessions aim to emphasize the subtle ways gender norms are perpetuated within families and communities and better equip men to support family nutrition and health and to have productive dialogues on these topics within their communities.

Ndosi’s Male Champions group has adopted the name “Amadoda Emadodeni” (men among men), inspired by the name of the approach. Since joining the group, Ndosi reports that he is now more open to learning skills around the household and better understands the importance of his family eating healthy.

“I have been learning household chores such as drying vegetables and taking care of the children in the absence of my wife,” Ndosi said. “She encourages me to come to these sessions because she has experienced firsthand how they have helped us in our marriage.”

In less than a year as a Male Champion, Ndosi’s family has improved their eating habits due to their better understanding of household nutrition and food security. When his group discussed types of nutritional foods infants, children and pregnant and lactating women need, Ndosi shared that he realized how men can support their families to get these types of food.

“I used to jealously guard my livestock because, to me and the society that I live in, that is what defined me as a man among men,” he said. “I realized that the livestock we possess are meant to take care of my family and not the other way around. Now I can afford to slaughter a chicken or a goat for my family more often, because I understand the importance of my wife and children eating healthy.”

The Indoda Emadodeni campaign first developed by Amalima to promote behavior change reached over 6,400 men, and some groups are still active. In November 2022, Amalima Loko visited one of the original Male Champions groups formed in November 2015 in Siphepha, Tsholotsho, and found that the 10 members continue to meet, even with COVID-19 restrictions that had been in place in recent years. During the visit, the men shared that they attributed the group’s continuity to their love of their families, the support they received from local leadership to mobilize other men and provide them with platforms to share their messages. One such platform is a ward-level soccer tournament held for Male Champion groups, used to share the campaign’s message and to connect with other groups from throughout the ward and their wider communities.

The Amadoda Emadodeni group in Nkayi and Amalima Loko’s Indoda Emadodeni concept have been well-received by their community. The eldest of the group, Bra Nene, shared that, “the society is responsive to our program, and they have been asking us to roll it out further to other villages.”

The group also hopes to address more cross-cutting gender norms in the future, including challenging the norms that contribute to gender-based violence. As an approach designed around the premise that behavior change is often driven by peer influence, this evolution is exactly the type of progress envisioned for the campaign from its inception.

“I understand that a man among men fends for his family and ensures that they are well taken care of in terms of food, shelter and clothing,” Ndosi said. “I hope my children will follow the footsteps of Indoda Emadodeni that we are setting.”

Amalima Loko is a five-year resilience and food security program funded by USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance that seeks to address community-identified issues underpinning food insecurity in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe. To date, the activity has worked with 200 Male Champions groups and reached over 2,000 men.

Extending Animal Health in the Department of Takeita, Zinder Region

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Aichatou Ali Mamadou is a shining example of what one can achieve with passion, hard work and support from the right sources. Born and raised in the city of Zinder in Niger, she had always dreamt of pursuing a career in veterinary medicine.

After completing her primary and secondary studies, she enrolled in the prestigious Inter-State School of Veterinary Sciences and Medicine (EISMV) in Dakar, Senegal, where she excelled and graduated with honors. Then, after defending her thesis, Mamadou returned to her hometown and started working as an assistant veterinarian to gain experience and work toward fulfilling her dream of opening a veterinary clinic. However, with a lack of financial and material resources, she found herself struggling to start her own business.

After considering a bank loan, Mamadou became aware of the USAID Yalwa activity’s call for local private veterinary service (LPVS) providers, as part of its plans to finance five new LPVSs and increase the number of local livestock assistants from 343 to 400.Although LPVS networks already existed in Yalwa’s other areas of intervention, they did not yet exist in the department of Takieta where USAID Yalwa supported 12 small ruminant producer organizations, bringing together 526 members distributed as follows: 221 men, 305 women and 227 youth.

USAID Yalwa’s support to LPVSs centers around three areas: 1) preliminary direct support—which supports LPVSs to obtain the authorization and documentation needed to practice and meet health service mandates as well as to establish a simple operating system for montioring profit; 2) direct support for clinic installation—which drives investment for start-up activities, construction and equipment acquisition (cold chain, means of transport, etc.); and 3) technical support to clinicians–which serves to strengthen the capacities of veterinarians and their assistants, both through managerial and technical training.

“It was an unexpected opportunity for me to learn about Yalwa’s grant because it was exactly what I needed and was looking for,’’ said Mamadou when remembering reading the call for application the first time.

Through this support, Mamadou was finally able to start her business in 2022 with all the necessary equipment, medicine and surgical materials, including cold chain storage units for vaccines and medications. She also recruited 34 individuals to work under her supervision, ensuring better animal health services could be provided throughout the Takieta department.

Her business’ success was shown in February 2023, when she accumulated around $1,300 (700,000 FCFA) in sales. This number will only continue to grow, with awareness on the importance of livestock vaccination becoming more prominent in local communities and with farmers being offered more affordable prices to receive private veterinary services.

Today, Mamadou continues to provide top-notch veterinary services and advice to farmers in her region. Through her strong expertise, dedication and commitment to animal health and leadership, she has also inspired the community around her, especially considering the rarity of women-owned veterinary clinics in Niger. Mamadou’s story is a shining example of the potential one can achieve when provided with the right tools to succeed.

Reclaiming Rangeland and Restoring the Environment One Village at a Time

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Members of Siamwele village in Hwange District, Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe, have cleared two hectares of land that were covered by an invasive species that threatened livestock health and food security in the community. The effort was devised during community discussions as part of the USAID-funded Amalima Loko activity’s Community Visioning approach.  

Siamwele is situated in the driest part of Zimbabwe, where low rainfall (300-450 millimeters per year) and infertile Kalahari sands limit the growth and spread of grasses while extensive conservation efforts such as at Hwange National Park limit the availability of grazing land for communities. Around the village, Lantana camara, a noxious woody and mono-cultural shrub originally introduced to the area as a flower in the 1990s, has taken over 70 hectares of what was already limited grazing space, including a large swath of the once-lush Lukunguni vlei, a low-lying marshy area which collects water during the rainy season. The invasive species has out-competed local herbaceous species leaving livestock little choice but to eat it, leading to skin and eye irritations, reduced livestock fertility and in some cases premature death. To avoid the Lantana camara, livestock are forced to graze further from the village and closer to Hwange National Park, exposing them to threats from wild predators and to exotic zoonotic diseases. 

“Growing up, there was no Lantana camara,” Khulu Ncube, an elder from Siamwele, shared. “I would herd our cattle along the vlei (marshy land with shallow pools), play and swim in the dam with my friends while the cattle grazed along the valley.” 

Food insecurity in the area is exacerbated by economic stagnation, increasingly unpredictable climatic conditions and environmental degradation. To tackle this community members were eager to participate in Community Visioning discussions, a foundational element to the Amalima Loko activity, which seeks to address community-identified issues underpinning food insecurity. In July 2022, community members took part in a village planning process guided by a hazard mapping exercise. This was a participatory discussion through which communities identified, ranked and planned to address key drivers of food insecurity in their area. It was through these discussions that Siamwele community members identified the invasion of Lantana camara as a key driver of livestock disease and death and expressed their ambition of restoring the vlei and productive grazing land. 

To commence the removal process, a diverse group of 75 indidivuals formed and joined a Community Action Group chaired by Khulekani Ncube, a male youth from the community. After forming, the group worked weekly over a period of four months under a Cash for Assets arrangement supported by Amalima Loko, under which community members were given very modest compensation for their labor cutting, stumping, filling and burning the spiky Lantana camara shrub. The work is hard and slow as stumped roots must be filled with dirt and branches to stabilize the soil, reducing soil erosion and water flow out of the area, which in turn protects germinating grass seedlings for the rainy season and so promotes new growth. The group used their own tools for the job: machetes, axes, picks, slashers and hoes, with Amalima Loko also contributing gloves and some additional shovels and picks.  

“Removing Lantana camara is very difficult,” Village Head David Moyo said. “But seeing the enthusiasm from each other and yearning to see lush vlei again has cultivated the zeal to continue working.”  

Prior to the removal process, Amalima Loko staff trained the community on best practices to eradicate the plant. The training covered a range of practices, including removing the plant before fruiting, removing the plant’s roots and burning the plants after they have been removed to prevent dormant seeds from germinating. Community Action Group members were also jointly trained by Amalima Loko and the Zimbabwean Environmental Management Agency on safe fire usage and control. 

“We applaud the Community Action Group’s work mobilizing neighbors, tools and linking with the Environmental Management Agency and Amalima Loko,” said Moyo. “We would like to see more young people participating [in] and leading [the] collective action. As traditional leaders, we are committed to supporting them.” 

The community plans to continue the clearing process after the farming season (which runs from November-April), and their efforts have inspired neighboring communities along the vlei, notably Silibinda, Chewumba and Musani B villages, to start removing Lantana camara as well. 

“The knowledge we have obtained has made us see that [this] invasive species is dangerous to our grazing lands,” Busi Mpala, a community member, shared of the Community Visioning and invasive species removal processes. “And this is knowledge we will share with our successive generations.”  

The Amalima Loko activity is funded by the USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance and is implemented by Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA). It is designed to improve food and nutrition security for more than 67,000 vulnerable households in rural Zimbabwe through increased food access and sustainable watershed management. The activity’s Community Visioning process has reached 42,000 people of diverse genders, ages, abilities and social groups in more than 500 villages. 

Youth Lead Innovation Along Georgia’s Administrative Boundary Line

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Youth from Georgia’s Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) are bursting with new ideas to develop innovative products. Through the USAID Resilient Communities Program’s Regional Grants Program, conducted jointly with the Program’s institutional partner, Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency (GITA), 18 young professionals aged 17 to 29 were supported to launch their startup businesses, covering agriculture, entertainment, hardware prototypes and next-generation web3 technologies.

One standout startup, Bnoller from Samegrelo, led by eight young ABL community members, focuses on creating a unique decentralized social network with an integrated digital asset marketplace using blockchain technology. This innovation not only enhances digital asset security but also gives users control over their commercial activities, contributing to the growing Georgian digital asset market.

In Zugdidi, Nia Toloraias startup, which involves three young professionals from diverse backgrounds, aims to use a 3D printer to treat strabismus (a condition of misaligned eyes). Additionally, seven more startups, including Agrofly, ArchiMarket and Print Svaneti, led by young professionals, play a vital role in mitigating the outflow of youth from communities along the ABL, fostering regional sustainable development and motivation for young people to explore new opportunities. 

Sugu Yiriwa Facilitates the Sale of 2,500 Tons of Millet

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Since 1984, Sidiki Badian, a businessman from Koutiala, Mali, has sold cereal products for a livinga job he inherited from his father who was also a grain salesman. At first, his business model consisted of buying cereal during rural market days and reselling it for a profit in cities. He found opportunities to expand when he began collaborating with international development organizations in 2004.  

More recently, Badian participated in business trainings and trade events organized by the Feed the Future Mali Sugu Yiriwa activity, like stock exchanges and seed fairs, and he began selling some of his agricultural commodities through Sugu Yiriwa.

“Sugu Yiriwa brings together all types of agricultural actors,” he said. “Recently, I provided 88 tons of cereals and 200 tons of fertilizer.” 

Sugu Yiriwa is a five-year activity designed to strengthen market systems while sustainably improving household incomes and the nutritional status of women and children in Mali. Around $662,000 (400,000,000 FCFA) in agricultur

Sidiki Badian being interviewed at the start of Sugu Yiriwa activities to support community resilience in Sikasso, Mali.

al commodities was mobilized by the activity in 2022 to provide direct support to 3,183 people affected by the global food crisis and price shocks, reducing the risk of food insecurity and improving livelihoods.  

During the launch of these activities, Badian represented suppliers and highlighted his collaboration with Sugu Yiriwa to the former Minister of Rural Development, Modibo Keita, who attended the event. 

“Samples of my products were on the table,” he said. “There were food packages composed of cereal products, including millet, soy and peanuts.” 

With the Malian government banning cereal exports in 2021, Badian found himself with a significant amount of unsold stock. Until that point, a large portion of his revenue was made from exports.  

“Last year, I applied for public tenders from the department in charge of food security and it was only part of my maize stock that I was able to sell last September. Millet was not included,” he said.  

At the launch event, former Minister Keita learned that Badian had leftover stock of millet. Given domestic needs for cereal at a national level, the Minister initiated discussions for the Malian government to buy his remaining stock.  

“The next morning, an order came in from the Office des Produits Agricoles du Mali (OPAM),” Badian said, “and I received notification to ship 2,500 tons of millet, worth $1,134,722 (687,500,000 FCFA) to Mopti.”  

Badian contends that this contact with government officials, facilitated by Sugu Yiriwa, was directly responsible for this game changing order. 

“If not for these kinds of events, we rarely have the opportunity to meet and converse with the Ministers, let alone exchange contacts and benefit from business opportunities,” Badian said.  

By connecting producers, sellers and buyers, Sugu Yiriwa has driven a total of $2,736,279 (1,657,843,860 FCFA) in financial transactions in its second year. In addition to facilitating networking events, the activity has trained over 100 agricultural traders and suppliers. Badian is evidence that Sugu Yiriwa’s approach is helping to improve the organization of agricultural actors so they can improve food security, better meet the needs of the local market and expand regional sales.