USAID Launches Farmer-to-Farmer Program in Zimbabwe

USAID Launches Farmer-to-Farmer Program in Zimbabwe

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Harare, Zimbabwe, May 30, 2019 – The five-year USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer Program (2018-2023) launched on May 30.  At a launch event held at Africa Synod House, representatives of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government of Zimbabwe, a Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer, and implementing organization Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) reaffirmed their shared commitment to strengthening agriculture and resilience in Zimbabwe.

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CNFA Appoints Thad Simons as New Board of Directors Member

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: CNFA, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture, an international agricultural development organization, announced that Thad Simons has been appointed to join the CNFA Board of Directors. Simons is co-founder and managing director of The Yield Lab, which provides capital and support for early-stage agricultural technology companies, and president of The Yield Lab Institute, a nonprofit organization that works to connect agricultural entrepreneurs and relevant stakeholders. Simons previously served as president and CEO of global animal health and nutrition company Novus International, Inc.

Thad brings to the CNFA board a deep understanding of the ways that emerging technologies are transforming agriculture,” said CNFA Chair of the Board Elin D. Miller. “His work helping entrepreneurs revolutionize agrifood systems in a sustainable way pairs perfectly with CNFA’s mission, and we look forward to tapping his expertise as a new CNFA Board Member.”

Simons currently serves on the boards of several agri-technology startups, Ascus Biosciences Cryoocyte, Probiotics Holdings and Proviera, as well as on the boards of various nonprofit organizations, including The Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience, a St. Louis public school which works to educate high school students to pursue bioscience careers. Simons also formerly sat on the corporate boards of Novus International, Inc., and ESM Technologies; as well as on the boards of the Corporate Council on Africa, National Chicken Council, and American Feed Industry Association. He also previously served as president of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association.

“Thad understands how critical investments in leading-edge agricultural technologies are driving the world’s ability to ensure sustainable food production and global food security,” said CNFA President & Chief Executive Officer Sylvain Roy. “His work mentoring and investing in early-stage, entrepreneurial agri-tech companies conforms closely with CNFA’s own mission to use market-driven approaches to bring sustainable agricultural development to underserved regions of the world.”

“CNFA has been a pioneer in acknowledging the key role that entrepreneurship plays in advancing economic and food security in international development,” Simons said. “I eagerly anticipate working with the CNFA Board of Directors to further expand CNFA’s successful application of this approach around the world.”

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CNFA: Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture is an international agricultural development organization that specializes in the design and implementation of sustainable, enterprise-based agricultural initiatives. We work with businesses, foundations, governments, and communities to build customized local and global partnerships that meet the world’s growing demand for food. Since our inception in 1985, we have designed and implemented enterprise-based, agricultural development initiatives to facilitate market access, enhance agribusiness competitiveness, increase productivity, and improve access to inputs and financing in 45 countries around the world.

U.S. Consul General Karachi inaugurates cold storage facility for vegetable exporters

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Karachi: On March 22, Consul General JoAnne Wagner inaugurated a state-of-the-art cold storage facility for vegetable exporters. This facility was established through support by the U.S.-Pakistan Partnerships for Agricultural Market Development (AMD), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

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CNFA partners with Oikocredit to sustainably improve incomes of cocoa producers in Côte d’Ivoire

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CNFA and Oikocredit will collaborate to facilitate loan access for Ivorian cocoa producers

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international agricultural development organization, announced that Oikocredit, a social impact investor, and the Maximizing Opportunities in Cocoa Activity (MOCA) project, implemented by CNFA, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen cocoa cooperatives’ capacities in financial management and increase their potential for sustainable development.

MOCA, funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food for Progress program, and Oikocredit signed the MoU on April 3 in Méaguy, in the Soubré department of western Côte d’Ivoire.

Côte d’Ivoire is the world’s biggest producer of cacao beans, responsible for an estimated 40 percent of annual global production. However, many farmers live in poverty due to low cocoa productivity combined with full dependency on cacao production for their household income.

The partnership between MOCA and Oikocredit will offer better opportunities for MOCA-selected cooperatives to develop an entrepreneurial approach to cocoa farming by diversifying their sources of income and accessing appropriate financial services.

Together, Oikocredit and MOCA have already led three regional workshops in February 2019 to provide information surrounding obstacles to loan access for cocoa cooperatives and assessing the understanding of risk management and bank requirements among cocoa producers.

To formalize the collaboration, MOCA’s Chief of Party and Program Director, Marc Steen and M. Camara Sauveur, welcomed a delegation from Oikocredit composed of Bart van Eyk, Director of Investments; Laura Pool, Director of Finance and Risk; Hans Perk, Regional Director Africa; and Solène Prince-Agbodjan, Investment Officer Agriculture. They met with MOCA-selected cooperatives in Méaguy and discussed the main challenges in the Ivorian cocoa sector and opportunities to address them.

The signing ceremony for the MoU was held during the delegation’s visit.

MOCA provides capacity building, training and other support services to Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa producers, cooperatives and exporters in order to boost stakeholder productivity and efficiency, improve farm incomes, and increase the supply of high-quality cacao beans.

Oikocredit supports smallholder farmers by providing access to loans, equity investments, and capacity building for agricultural cooperatives, producers, processors, and distributors that generate high economic and social impact for smallholder farmers.

Through this collaboration, MOCA and Oikocredit intend to focus on:

  • Increasing cooperatives’ capacities in financial management and good governance,
  • Supporting the development of investment planning and working capital loan requests,
  • Developing innovative digital finance strategies,
  • Improving finance control at cooperative level,
  • Improving producers’ knowledge and understanding of risk management, and
  • Facilitating loan access.

“The USDA financed MOCA project works with cocoa farmers and their cooperatives to increase their professionalism,” said MOCA Chief of Party Marc Steen. “This includes improving financial management to reduce financial risks and by doing so making the cooperative more attractive for money lenders like Oikocredit.”

“At Oikocredit we believe that social impact finance and capacity building are among the most effective tools for reducing poverty. We look forward to collaborating with MOCA on strengthening our support of Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa cooperatives and furthering our work towards improving livelihoods for Ivorian smallholders,” said Hans Perk, Oikocredit’s Regional Director Africa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CNFA: Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture is an international agricultural development organization that specializes in the design and implementation of sustainable, enterprise-based agricultural initiatives. We work with businesses, foundations, governments and communities to build customized local and global partnerships that meet the world’s growing demand for food. Since our inception in 1985, we have designed and implemented enterprise-based, agricultural development initiatives to facilitate market access, enhance agribusiness competitiveness, increase productivity, and improve access to inputs and financing in 45 countries around the world.

Oikocredit: Social impact investor and worldwide cooperative Oikocredit has over 40 years’ experience funding organizations active in financial inclusion, agriculture and renewable energy. Oikocredit’s loans, equity investments and capacity building aim to enable people on low incomes in Africa, Asia and Latin America to sustainably improve their living standards. Oikocredit finances 684 partners, with total outstanding capital of € 1,046.6 million at December 2018.

For more information, please contact:

CNFA at publicrelations@cnfa.org or visit www.cnfa.org

Oikocredit at communication@oikocredit.org or visit www.oikocredit.coop.

New U.S. Government-Provided Software Package to Improve Livestock Sector

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Lahore, April 18, 2019 – The U.S.-Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Market Development (AMD) announced the launch of a new software package to expand Pakistani meat exporters’ access to global markets.

The state-of-the-art software will track animals’ origins and where meat is processed, which will help prevent the spread of animal diseases and enhance biosecurity.  The new software package also will help farmers formulate economical feed rations with an optimal mix of nutrients, which will lower production costs.

“This software will give Pakistani meat exporters a huge advantage in accessing new global markets,” said Director of USAID Pakistan’s Office of Acquisition and Assistance Leslie-Ann Nwokora.  “Buyers will be able to trace the origin, processing, and distribution of meat, while feed formulation and ration balancing software will help farmers reduce costs and provide animals a balanced diet to ensure they remain healthy.”

This is the first time such a software package will be used in Pakistan.  The USAID-funded AMD project provides integrated support to the livestock sector through grants, training, and technical assistance to upgrade equipment, introduce innovative meat cuts and packing technology, and support Pakistani producers and exporters in meeting international food standards.

“Through projects like AMD, USAID is supporting equi

pment upgrades and other initiatives to improve product quality, boost exports, streamline supply chains, and bolster Pakistani exporters’ competitiveness and profitability,” said USAID Provincial Director for Punjab Kevin Sharp.

USAID launched the AMD project in 2015 to improve the ability of Pakistan’s commercial agriculture and livestock sectors to compete in international and national markets for meat, high-value and off-season vegetables, mangoes, and citrus.

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For more information on USAID programs in Pakistan, please visit: www.usaid.gov/pakistan/economic-growth-agriculture

John Deere Partners with CNFA to Increase Agricultural Efficiency through Mechanization

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international agricultural development organization, and John Deere, a leading agricultural equipment supplier, announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at increasing productivity and income for smallholder farmers through mechanization.

John Deere and CNFA share the belief that mechanization is essential for the transformation of agriculture, particularly in labor intensive, subsistence agricultural systems. Yet, many smallholder farmers lack the access to capital and information surrounding best farming practices to invest in equipment and technologies, such as tractors, that hold the potential to increase farm productivity.

Under the new agreement, John Deere and CNFA aim to help facilitate market access, enhance agribusiness competitiveness and increase productivity by providing mechanization to smallholder farmers through John Deere’s S.M.A.R.T. program.  This program includes a comprehensive suite of equipment and services that help emerging farmers, entrepreneurs, and farmer groups to invest in new profitable and sustainable contracting businesses.  The outcomes of these new businesses will increase productivity and incomes for smallholder farmers by improving access to and utilization of tractors, implements, and farm mechanization services.

“Sustainable agricultural mechanization is vital to increasing agricultural productivity and therefore the profitability of farming,” said CNFA President and CEO Sylvain Roy. “We look forward to partnering with John Deere to jointly promote agricultural mechanization as a critical way to improve competitiveness, enhance nutritional outcomes and drive global food security.”

“John Deere is committed to self-sustaining mechanization businesses on the continent of Africa,” according to Jacques Taylor, Deere’s Managing Director for Africa.  “Our S.M.A.R.T. campaign has been highly successful and has proven to facilitate dramatic increases in production and incomes.  This partnership with CNFA will allow us to feature these solutions and transform farming on the African continent.”

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CNFA: Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture is an international agricultural development organization that specializes in the design and implementation of sustainable, enterprise-based agricultural initiatives. We work with businesses, foundations, governments and communities to build customized local and global partnerships that meet the world’s growing demand for food. Since our inception in 1985, we have designed and implemented enterprise-based, agricultural development initiatives to facilitate market access, enhance agribusiness competitiveness, increase productivity, and improve access to inputs and financing in 45 countries around the world.

John Deere: Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land – those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world’s dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at www.JohnDeere.com.

Media Contact:

CNFA: publicrelations@cnfa.org

USAID Introducing Innovative Technologies for the Development of Pakistan’s Agriculture Sector

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Karachi: On April 29, Consul General JoAnne Wagner inaugurated the Electronic Beam (E-Beam) irradiation facility established through support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded U.S.-Pakistan Partnerships for Agricultural Market Development (AMD) program.

The E-Beam irradiation facility benefits the agriculture sector by decreasing post-harvest food losses due to spoilage and deterioration in quality. The technology also extends the shelf life of foods, and has the potential to increase market access as well as open up new export opportunities.

“We are pleased that the U.S. Government’s efforts are helping transform Pakistan’s agriculture sector by introducing innovative technologies,” said Consul General JoAnne Wagner. “I’m confident that this technology will prove to be a game changer for Pakistan’s agricultural exports.”

E-Beam irradiation technology allows for fast and efficient sanitization of food and non-food products through an electron beam passed through packaged commodities. For fruits and vegetables this means longer shelf life and cleaner products as compared to any other sanitization methods available in the country.

USAID’s AMD program works to improve the ability of Pakistan’s commercial agriculture and livestock sectors to compete better in international and national markets in four target product lines; meat, high-value and off-season vegetables, mangoes, and citrus.  This partnership acts as a catalyst for development and investment in the target product lines, helps improve the quality and increase the quantity of exportable agricultural produce, and promotes cooperation among farmers, processors, exporters, and buyers of Pakistani agricultural products in international markets. This is resulting in increased income and generating employment opportunities for the citizens of Pakistan.

For more information on USAID programs in Pakistan, please visit the following web site: www.usaid.gov/pakistan

CNFA-Implemented Cocoa Initiative to Collaborate with Blommer Chocolate Co. in Côte d’Ivoire

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CNFA, Blommer Chocolate team up to strengthen production of high-quality sustainable Ivorian cacao beans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international agricultural development organization, announced that Blommer Chocolate Co. and the Maximizing Opportunities in Cocoa Activity (MOCA) project, implemented by CNFA, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Jan. 7 aimed at improving the cocoa value chain in Côte d’Ivoire.

MOCA, funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food for Progress program, provides capacity-building, training and other support services to Côte d’Ivoire cocoa producers, cooperatives and exporters in order to boost stakeholder productivity and efficiency, improve farm incomes, and increase the supply of high-quality cacao beans.

Under the new agreement, Blommer—the largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier in North America—will partner with MOCA to work with farmers and cooperatives to strengthen the production of sustainable cacao beans.

To drive those efforts, Blommer and MOCA will collaborate over the next year to increase cooperatives’ management capacities, launch pilot mobile money solutions with selected cooperatives, and improve distribution channels for agricultural inputs.

“Blommer is a recognized leader in advancing sustainability efforts in cocoa communities,” said MOCA Chief of Party Marc Steen. “We look forward to working closely with them, and to leveraging our joint expertise to improve Ivorian farmers’ incomes and livelihoods through the sustainable production of high-quality cocoa.”

“Blommer is excited to launch this new partnership and pilot introducing new approaches to identified bottlenecks” said Kip Walk, Senior Director, Sustainability. “Finding ways to improve management capacities and instituting systems supporting mobile money are critical to the long-term success of the cocoa farming sector.”

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CNFA: Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture, an international agricultural 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 44 countries across the world in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latina America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and South and Central Asia.

Blommer Chocolate Company: Blommer Chocolate Company is the largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier in North America. With over 800 employees and five strategically located manufacturing facilities in North America and China, the company provides comprehensive business solutions for domestic and international customers of all sizes in the confectionery, baking and dairy industries. Among Blommer’s core competencies are cocoa bean processing, chocolate manufacturing, commodity risk management, and product and process R&D. The company is a leader in advancing sustainable cocoa farming as a founding member of the World Cocoa Foundation, a member of the Cocoa Action sustainability initiative, a member of the Cocoa and Forests Initiative and through its privately managed global farmer programs. Founded in 1939, the company has developed and maintains an outstanding reputation for customer service and quality.

Creating Opportunities for Ivorian Cocoa Producers: CNFA-Implemented MOCA Initiative Launches Activities in Abengourou, Daloa and Soubré

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Events will improve partners’ understanding and increase MOCA’s regional visibility

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international agricultural development organization, announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-funded Maximizing Opportunities in Cocoa Activity (MOCA), a three-year initiative implemented by CNFA to strengthen Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa sector, will officially launch activities in three Ivorian cocoa-producing regions.

December 11, 13 and 14, 2018, Abengourou, Daloa and Soubré, the departmental cities of the Nawa, Haut-Sassandra and Indénié-Duablin cocoa-producing regions where MOCA has a local presence, will host the ceremonies for the official launch of MOCA’s activities.

“MOCA is excited to start with the implementation of the project with selected cooperatives and partners in the three regions. We see a lot of potential to build upon past initiatives to further support the cocoa sector in the three regions to the benefit of cocoa farmers,” said Marc Steen, Chief of Party at MOCA.

MOCA, funded by USDA’s Food for Progress program, works to increase the quality and availability of the production and inputs, improve harvesting and post-harvest handling, facilitate trade relations, and strengthen producers to better meet the international market demand.

The event will bring together regional stakeholders from the Ivorian cocoa sector to present the objectives of the project and the general strategy for achieving MOCA’s objectives. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with the project’s management team to understand the implementation stages of the project as well as the different components of MOCA.

MOCA is expecting 200 participants over the three events, including the U.S. Embassy and Conseil Café Cacao representatives, local authorities, partnering cooperatives, agroleaders and financial institutions.

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CNFA: The MOCA project is implemented in Côte d’Ivoire by Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international agricultural development organization that 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 44 countries across the world in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and South and Central Asia.