Press Release

CNFA Hosts Kazakhstan Business Development Tour in Southeast

Connecting Kazakhstani participants with U.S. businesses in the fruit and vegetable industry

Washington, D.C. – As part of the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) Kazakhstan Business Connections Project, a two-year project sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and funded by the Government of Kazakhstan, CNFA hosted a three-week business development tour for eleven participants from Kazakhstan, who met with U.S. businesses, participated in trade fairs, attended training and made site visits in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.  Ten businesspeople involved in fruit and vegetable production and one government representative visited more than 30 businesses related to fruit and vegetable production, processing and marketing. These organizations include Ambrose Farm, Gaia Herbs, Henderson’s Best and Mount Olive.  In addition to these business and association visits, the tour also included an educational component where participants worked with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, Clemson University Coastal Research and Education Center and the University of North Carolina Horticulture Research Stations.  While the primary goal of the tour was to provide opportunities for Kazakhstani businesses, it generated opportunities for U.S. businesses as well.  The tour concluded with a debriefing and reception in Washington, D.C. with representatives from the implementing organizations and the fruit and vegetable industry.

The Kazakhstan Business Connections Project aims to build the capacity and competitiveness of Kazakhstani small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through their modernization and expansion by supporting new business initiatives, improvement of the entrepreneurial sector and export-oriented industries. The project draws upon a unique relationship that was formed between USAID and the Government of Kazakhstan (GOKZ) – the Kazakhstan-U.S. Program for Economic Development co-funded by the GOKZ and USAID funds . The project is implemented under this umbrella program and managed by a USAID cooperative agreement. The project began on October 1, 2011 and runs until September 30, 2013. It is implemented by the International Executive Service Corps and its partners CNFA and The Graduate School. Click here for more information on the Kazakhstan Business Connections Project.

CNFA, based in Washington, D.C., stimulates economic growth and improves rural livelihoods by empowering the private sector.  CNFA’s unique approach is founded on six core capacities: 1) commercial input supply and farm services; 2) economic resilience and rapid recovery; 3) agricultural productivity, food security and nutrition; 4) value chain development; 5) volunteer technical assistance and 6) access to finance. CNFA has worked in over 38 countries worldwide and impacted the lives of more than 70 million people.  For more information, visit www.cnfa.org.