CNFA Names Eddie Keturakis as Vice President of Business Development

CNFA Names Eddie Keturakis as Vice President of Business Development

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Eddie Keturakis has been named to serve as CNFA’s Vice President of Business Development

Washington, D.C. – Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international agricultural development organization, announced that Eddie Keturakis has been named to serve as CNFA’s Vice President of Business Development, effective March 13, 2017.

In his role as Vice President of Business Development, Mr. Keturakis will lead CNFA’s new business process, including identification of upcoming opportunities, development of strategic partnerships, technical writing and management of multiple proposal teams. He also will contribute to the design of CNFA’s private-sector-driven programs.

“Ed’s diverse background in agriculture, agribusiness, international development and project management make him uniquely qualified to drive our new business development efforts,” said CNFA President and CEO Sylvain Roy. “Having worked on a farm and served in the Peace Corps, Ed also brings with him a ground-level understanding of the inner workings of agriculture in addition to his senior management and financial expertise. CNFA looks forward to working with Ed to pursue new programs and initiatives to further our mission.”

Prior to joining CNFA, Mr. Keturakis served as a Senior Agribusiness Specialist within the Global Practice for Trade & Competitiveness at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group. In that role, he worked with Ministries of Agriculture and Commerce in more than 20 Asian and African countries to help implement agricultural regulatory reforms, including the reform of regulations governing the poultry and dairy sub-sectors in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Nigeria. Before that, he also served for several years on the business development staff of Abt Associates.

In other roles throughout his career, Mr. Keturakis has managed USAID-funded projects, advised agribusiness development programs throughout Africa and Asia, and served as a co-owner of a small processed food export and marketing company.

Mr. Keturakis began his career as an agro-forestry volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in Niger. He holds a B.A. in biology from Benedictine College, an M.Sc in Biology from Truman State University, and an M.Sc. in Food Processing Engineering from ENSIA-SIARC (Ecole National Supérieur des Industries Agricoles et Alimentaires; Section Industries Agroalimentaires Régions Chaudes) in France.

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.

CNFA Hosts Commemoration of a Decade of Contributions to Agricultural Development Initiatives in Georgia

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Welcomes Minister of Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili to their headquarters

 WASHINGTON DC: Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international development organization, welcomed His Excellency Levan Davitashvili, Minister of Agriculture of Georgia, to Washington, D.C., to meet with CNFA senior management and participate in an informal commemoration of CNFA’s decade of contributions to agricultural development initiatives in that nation.

“We were honored to have this opportunity to welcome Minister Davitashvili, and to convey our sincere desire to continue to pursue goals of mutual interest as we expand our mission to create successful agricultural enterprises and foster economic growth in Georgia,” said CNFA Europe Chairman and Founder of CNFA John H. Costello.

“New skills and approaches can be taught,” Minister Davitashvili told the group, “but entrepreneurship—and the initiative that comes with it—is the key to the success of the Georgian agriculture sector. We now have an opportunity to apply CNFA’s focus on agricultural entrepreneurship—and its competitive matching grant model—to future state programs led by the Ministry of Agriculture.”

Mr. Costello and other members of CNFA’s Board of Directors, in June of this year, traveled to Georgia to mark the organization’s 10th anniversary in the country by visiting CNFA-supported Farm and Machinery Service Centers and by hosting a Conference and Grantee Fair at Expo Georgia in Tbilisi.

During that trip, Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili awarded Mr. Costello the nation’s highest honor for non-Georgian citizens, the Order of the Golden Fleece, in recognition of his leadership of CNFA’s service to the Georgian people. Last week, at the 19th Annual Conference of the America Georgia Business Council (AGBC) attended by Minister Davitashvili, Mr. Costello and other CNFA officers, AGBC President Mamuka Tsereteli once again recognized Mr. Costello for the award.

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Left-to-right: CNFA Chief Operating Officer Alan Pieper, Minister of Agriculture Levan Davitashvili, CNFA Europe Chairman and Founder of CNFA John H. Costello

Mr. Costello credited CNFA’s Georgian partners for their role in advancing the organization’s initiatives.

“CNFA and the people of Georgia have worked together on truly transformative projects over the past decade,” Mr. Costello said. “The enthusiastic participation and entrepreneurial spirit of the Georgian people has been crucial to our mutual success. CNFA is dedicated to returning that enthusiasm by continuing to build on those successes.”

CNFA has completed five projects in Georgia, including four USAID-funded initiatives—the Georgia Agricultural Risk Reduction Program, which impacted the needs of roughly 40,000 farm families and internally displaced persons in their recovery from the economic impact of conflict, the Farmer-to-Farmer Program, the Access to Mechanization Project, and the agricultural component of the Economic Prosperity Initiative; the Millennium Challenge Corporation funded the Agribusiness Development Activity. Four other initiatives are currently ongoing, including the Georgia Hazelnut Improvement Project, the Rural Economic Development Program, Restoring Efficiency to Agriculture Production Project, and a program promoting EU DCFTA Standards within Georgian Agriculture. In total, these diverse initiatives have supported more than 430 Georgian agribusinesses and provided technical and professional development to over 140,000 individuals.

 About 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 44 countries across the world in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latina America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and South and Central Asia.

Contact:

Email: PublicRelations@cnfa.org

Phone: 202.296.3920

CNFA Board Member Devry Boughner Vorwerk to lead Corporate Affairs for Cargill

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Agreements Signed to Establish Three Farm Service Centers in Arsi Zone, Oromia Region

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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
Email: ramha@cnfaethiopia.org 

 

CNFA Commemorates 10 Years of Innovative Agricultural Programs in Georgia

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Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili delivered the keynote address to kick off the conference.

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.

Press Contact: PublicRelations@cnfa.org

202.296.3920

CNFA Board of Directors Delegation Visit Georgia

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Visiting the AgroKartli, LtD Farm Service Center in Gori, Shida Kartli Region.

Visiting the AgroKartli, LtD Farm Service Center in Gori, Shida Kartli Region.

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.

 

 

USAID Mission Director Attends the Inauguration of the Georgian Hazelnut Improvement Project (G-HIP) and the Global Development Alliance (GDA) between USAID and Ferrero

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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: mjaparidze@usaid.gov

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USAID Assistant Administrator and USAID Mission Director Visit REAP Beneficiaries

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CNFA Names Alan W. Pieper as Chief Operating Officer

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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.