Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – The Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) Farm Service Center Project (FSCP), under GIZ Ethiopia’s Green Innovation Centres for the Agriculture and Food Sector (GIAF)-Ethiopia portfolio, commemorated the launch of three new ventures on September 20, 2016 at the Goethe Institute to establish Farm Service Centers (FSCs) in the Arsi Zone of Oromia Regional State. FSCs are market-based, one-stop-shops that provide high-quality agricultural inputs, services and training to smallholder farmers at affordable prices.
FSCP-GIAF-Ethiopia is partnering with two Ethiopian entrepreneurs and one farmers’ cooperative union to provide grants that are matched by these new FSC owners. The Project leveraged a total of €90,000 for the three grantees of the future Assela, Iteya, and Robe FSCs. These grants help demonstrate the viability of the FSC model as a platform for large-scale partnerships through the supply of a range of high-quality and affordable farm inputs and implements, technical knowledge, and services that link smallholder farmers with new agricultural technologies, innovations and best practices to improve on-farm productivity.
The event was opened by Ato Meseretu Lemma, Input Regulatory and Utilization Process Owner from Oromia Regional Bureau of Agriculture. In his opening speech, he spoke about how these new FSC ventures of the project support the Government of Ethiopia’s effort to build efficient agricultural input market and improve smallholder productivity, food security, and incomes through the development of sustainable, private-sector driven agricultural input supply markets and services. He also noted the need to scale up the FSCs to bring wider impact on the smallholder farmers’ productivity and finalized his speech by promising continued support from Oromia Regional Bureau of Agriculture for future endeavors. “It has always been my dream to stock the highest quality inputs and provide comprehensive consultation services for farmers. Now, with this grant program, I will be able to achieve this dream, diversify and expand the existing quality input stocks that I am currently managing” said Ato Alemu Kebede, owner of ‘Alemu Agricultural Inputs Enterprise’ and grantee, during the event.
More than 60 representatives from government organizations, GIZ, NGOs, private enterprises, and other stakeholders were in attendance at the event, including Federal and Regional Government Officials from the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Oromia Bureau of Agriculture, and Zonal and Woreda Officials from Arsi Zone. Other participants included Prof. Dr. Gerold Rahmann, GIZ-Green Innovation Center (GIC) Program Manager, Mr. Alan Pieper, Chief Operating Officer from CNFA HQ, representatives from other implementers of GIZ-GIC program in Ethiopia, and representatives from the private sector, other CNFA projects in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), EGGA PLC and owners of previously established FSCs, NGOs, media and other stakeholders.
Contact: Rebeka Amha
Title: Program Manager, CNFA FSCP-GIAF-Ethiopia
Tbilisi, Georgia – Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international agricultural development organization, celebrated its 10 year anniversary of designing and implementing market-driven agricultural and agribusiness development initiatives in Georgia by hosting a Conference and Grantee Fair today at Expo Georgia. The event featured remarks from Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)/Georgia Acting Mission Director Thomas Morris, CNFA President & CEO and CNFA Board of Director Sylvain Roy, CNFA Board of Director and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture A. Michael Espy, CNFA Board of Director and former Georgian Minister of Agriculture Davit Kirvalidze and CNFA Board of Director and CNFA Europe Board Chairman John H. Costello. The conference concluded with a presentation by Darejan Kanteladze, owner of a dairy processing plant, Santa LtD, who highlighted significant achievements that the company has accomplished as a result of working with USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and CNFA over the past eight years.
The fair featured almost 20 grantees that are currently receiving support and technical assistance from the USAID Restoring Efficiency to Agriculture Production (REAP) project, a current CNFA-led program. REAP is increasing income and employment in rural areas by delivering investment and technical assistance to expand the operation of existing smallholder farmers and rural enterprises. Conference attendees were able to sample grantees’ products and learn more about their business.
Since 2006, CNFA has led or been involved with eight projects, three of which are currently ongoing. These projects, as a result of U.S. Government assistance through USAID and MCC and in partnership with the Government of Georgia, have supported more than 430 agro-businesses, created over 3,500 jobs, generated $51 million in new gross sales, and trained more than 140,000 individuals. “We are extremely fortunate that CNFA continues to work in Georgia and the reason behind this is simple: our local Georgian staff,” said CNFA President and CEO Sylvain Roy. “None of this would be possible without their hard work and dedication, some of who have been with us since our first project. It is because of our people’s commitment and passion that CNFA has been able to truly make a positive impact in such an incredible country.”
The conference and grantee fair was the last event of a six-day visit to Georgia for seven CNFA Board of Directors to experience firsthand some of the work being currently implemented and to see the historical impacts under CNFA-supported projects. Other members in the CNFA Board of Directors delegation included Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Senior Policy Advisor Devry Boughner Vorwerk, Elin Miller Consulting, LLC Principal Elin Miller and former Archer Daniels Midland Company Senior Vice President Richard P. Reising.
CNFA: Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture, an international development organization, specializes in designing sustainable, market-led agricultural initiatives. CNFA builds strong local and global partnerships, incorporates innovative approaches in its programs, and fosters inclusive development to offer enhanced opportunities to under-served groups. Since 1985, CNFA has managed more than $600 million in donor-funded agriculture development programs and has worked in 43 countries across the world in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latina America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and South and Central Asia.
Contact: Jessie Lowry
CNFA Director of Communications
CNFA Board of Directors are embarking on a six-day visit to Georgia to experience firsthand some of the work being implemented by CNFA-supported projects, meet with high level Georgian officials and participate in a conference celebrating the organization’s 10-year anniversary of working in the country.
The six-member Board of Director delegation including CNFA President and CEO and CNFA Board of Director Sylvain Roy, former CNFA President and CEO John H. Costello, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture A. Michael Espy, Principal of Elin Miller Consulting, LLC Elin Miller, former Archer Daniels Midland Company Senior Vice President Richard P. Reising and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Senior Policy Advisor Devry Boughner Vorwerk is led by former Georgian Minister of Agriculture and current CNFA Board of Director Davit Kirvalidze.
During their visit, the CNFA Board of Directors will visit several Farm Service Centers (FSCs)/Machinery Service Centers (MSCs) including AgroKartli, LtD, I/E Ambrosi Matcharshvili and AgroService Ltd. Over the past 10 years, CNFA has helped create an extensive FSC/MSC network across Georgia, providing access to high-quality agricultural inputs and mechanization services to smallholder farmers. They will get to tour and taste the products of AromaProduct, an exporter of high quality natural juices, jams and preserves, dried spices, and other boutique products to Europe, Asia and Australia. On June 6, CNFA will host a conference and grantee fair featuring remarks from the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)/Georgia Acting Mission Director Thomas Morris.
Since 2006, CNFA has led or been involved with eight projects, three of which are currently ongoing. These projects, as a result of U.S. Government assistance through USAID and MCC and in partnership with the Government of Georgia, have supported more than 430 agro-businesses, created over 3,500 jobs, generated $51 million in new gross sales, and trained more than 140,000 individuals.
For more information about CNFA’s involvement in current and past programs in Georgia, please scroll below.
Tsalenjikha, May 4, 2016 – Representatives from the U.S., Georgian, and Italian governments traveled to Tsalenjikha to commemorate the inauguration of the Georgian Hazelnut Improvement Project and the continuation of the partnership between USAID and Ferrero. The projects are implemented by AgriGeorgia, a Ferrero subsidiary, and Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), respectively, to support the further development of Georgian hazelnut production and processing.
The partnership between USAID and AgriGeorgia/Ferrero leverages the technical and financial resources of each partner to broaden, deepen, and advance public and private sector efforts to further develop the hazelnut industry. This unique public-private partnership aims to increase the quality, quantity, pricing, and marketability of Georgian hazelnuts to improve the livelihoods of up to 50,000 Georgian hazelnut producing families.
Partners work closely with the Georgian Hazelnut Growers Association and the Hazelnut Exporters and Processors Association to reach producers and processors to further strengthen relationships that improve hazelnut productivity and increase market linkages.
The Georgian Hazelnut Improvement Project will directly benefit from Ferrero’s contributions in production, processing, and marketing, stimulating new growth and investment opportunities for Georgia’s hazelnut industry.
In attendance at the event were USAID Mission Director Douglas Ball, Minister of Agriculture of Georgia Otar Danelia, and Italian Ambassador to Georgia Antonio Enrico Bartoli.
About USAID in Georgia: During the past 24 years, the American People, through USAID, have invested more than $1.5 billion in Georgia. USAID projects are designed to support Georgia’s transition to a free and prosperous democracy and include initiatives to accelerate economic growth, develop democratic institutions, and improve health and education. USAID provides economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 100 countries. For more information, please visit: http://georgia.usaid.gov
For further questions please contact Maka Japaridze, USAID Development Outreach Coordinator; Cell: (995 99) 56 77 33; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international agricultural development organization, announced that Alan W. Pieper has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO) effectively immediately. As COO, Pieper will take on an expanded role in CNFA’s operations and growth and oversee the organization’s Departments of Accounting, Communications, Contracts, Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology. Pieper’s scope of responsibilities also includes oversight of CNFA’s project field operations in 18 countries across Africa, Eastern Europe, and Central and South Asia. His role also includes a similar position for CNFA’s European affiliate launched in 2015 and headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.
“Alan is a seasoned and trusted leader who consistently delivers results. His in-depth knowledge of our industry coupled with his past field work and private sector experience makes him uniquely qualified to drive strategic growth and accountability within CNFA with a focus on operational excellence,” said CNFA President and CEO Sylvain Roy. “I am confident that Alan will continue to work relentlessly to build bridges between our various departments and partners to meet our organization’s objectives.”
Pieper joined CNFA in March 2013 as the Executive Vice President of the Operations & Compliance (O&C) Department. Under his leadership, the O&C Department has almost tripled in size. Major initiatives under Pieper’s guidance include developing cash management and financial analysis tools to drive the company’s monthly, annual and strategic planning cycles. During Pieper’s tenure, CNFA’s project portfolio has grown more than 50% while annual revenues have more than doubled.
Prior to joining CNFA, Pieper spent more than 10 years in the field serving as a Chief of Party in Kosovo and the West Bank/Gaza. Major accomplishments in these roles include managing the start-up and serving as CEO of the American Bank of Kosovo, which was taken private through its sale to Raiffeissen Bank in Vienna, Austria. Under his leadership in the West Bank/Gaza, Khaizaran Herb Farm was created as one of the most successful cost-share investments and financed jointly by Palestinian farmers and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Prior to his work in international development, Pieper served at the Farm Credit Bank of St. Louis.
Pieper is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Washington University.
New European Chief Brings Public, Private-Sector Experience
BELGIUM – Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) has named international agricultural development professional Keith Polo to head up its newly established presence in Europe. Polo will oversee CNFA Europe’s efforts to establish and cultivate relationships with and among new public and private-sector partners, philanthropic groups and international organizations in Europe, as well as increase the number and reach of CNFA initiatives in the region.
“Keith brings with him a record of organizing and overseeing improvements in the performance of food and agricultural systems in some of the most challenging areas of the world,” said CNFA President and Chief Executive Officer Sylvain Roy. “We believe his combination of experience in the for-profit and non-profit worlds—and his ability to broker and shepherd initiatives that have benefited thousands of smallholder farmers—will help CNFA quickly expand its mission both among European donors and partners, and among new clients in the European region.”
Prior to coming to CNFA, Polo focused on using responsible agricultural investments to create inclusive agribusinesses in Africa by working with private equity, development finance institutions, African-based businesses and other partners. After joining the Clinton Foundation in 2014, Polo served as managing director of two private limited companies, Tukula Farming Co. and Moyo Nuts and Seeds, both in Malawi. While overseeing the businesses, he increased their impact on smallholders and communities while improving financial performance.
During the 20 years prior, Polo held senior management, technical and consulting positions at development organizations and agribusiness companies in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia and areas of the former Soviet Union. For 10 years of that time, he led the creation and expansion of Mercy Corps’ global agricultural development practice area. Polo also currently serves as a founding trustee of the Malawi Mangoes Investment Foundation, the community investment arm of Malawi Mangoes, a leading African agribusiness.
“Keith was selected as much for his hands-on expertise as his business acumen,” Roy said. “He not only has worked as manager of many agricultural initiatives for others, but also as a farmer himself. He grew up on his family’s farm in the United States, and today continues to farm alongside his family producing olive oil in central Italy. He brings to his role at CNFA a total understanding of what it means to be a farmer and what it takes to run an agribusiness.”
A former Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia, Polo holds a Masters of Science in Agronomy/International Agricultural Development from the University of Illinois, an Advanced Diploma in Sustainability and Food Policy from the Università degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche in Italy; and an Executive Education in Impact Investing and Financial Analysis from Said School of Business at University of Oxford and the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.
CNFA: Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture, an international development organization, specializes in designing sustainable, market-led agricultural initiatives. CNFA builds strong local and global partnerships, incorporates innovative approaches in its programs, and fosters inclusive development to offer enhanced opportunities to under-served groups. Since 1985, CNFA has managed more than $580 million in donor-funded agriculture development programs and has worked in 43 countries across the world in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latina America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and South and Central Asia. CNFA Europe is registered in Belgium as an international non-profit association (Enterprise No: 0634.572.416).
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) a cooperative agreement, valued at $19.3 million, to implement the Feed the Future Liberia Agribusiness Development Activity (Liberia ADA) over the course of five years. As part of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative, Liberia ADA will expand access to quality inputs, finance, mechanization, agricultural advice, and markets to strengthen the food security and increase incomes for Liberian smallholder farmers. CNFA will pair matching grants with technical assistance to generate substantial increases in private sector investment in agribusinesses, agricultural input systems, post-harvest handling support, storage, packaging, transport, marketing, and auxiliary services.
“Through the promotion of private sector investment in the supply, distribution and management of input systems, Liberia ADA will catalyze growth in high-potential agricultural value chains,” said CNFA President and Chief Executive Officer Sylvain Roy. “As well as working with the private sector, we will adapt our successful model of developing and strengthening networks of agrodealers to increase access to and use of high-quality inputs and extension services. By improving access to inputs, machinery, and processing technologies, this will also open opportunities for women and youth to improve their productivity and become involved in post-harvest agribusinesses.”
CNFA will draw upon a skilled consortium of local and international organizations, combining in-depth knowledge of the economic, social, and cultural environment of Liberia with quality technical and program management expertise. CNFA’s vision is that by 2019, Liberia will have more active input, processing and marketing systems for targeted value chains, reflected by an $8.75 million increase in total private investment resulting in an estimated $2,800 per person increase in smallholder farmer incomes.
CNFA: Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international development organization, specializes in designing sustainable, market-led agricultural initiatives. We build strong local and global partnerships, incorporate innovative approaches into our programs, and foster inclusive development to offer enhanced opportunities to under-served groups. Since 1985, CNFA has managed more than $580 million in donor-funded agriculture development programs and has worked in 43 countries across the world in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and South and Central Asia.