Feed the Future Guinea Strengthening Agriculture Value Chains and Youth

Feed the Future Guinea Strengthening Agriculture Value Chains and Youth

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Overview:

The CNFA-implemented Feed the Future Strengthening Agriculture Value Chains and Youth (SAVY) Program (2016-2021) aims to facilitate improved access to agricultural inputs, credit tools, and market information along the rice, horticulture, and livestock value chains in Guinea.

Program Approach:

The SAVY program falls under the Guinea Agricultural Services (GAS) project, funded by USAID and in partnership with six international NGOs focused on animal health promotion and animal disease outbreak mitigation, financial inclusion, and market facilitation. These three intervention areas have one major cross-cutting activity, the Apprentissage en Vulgarisation, Entreprenariat et Innovation Rurale (Apprenticeship in Extension, Entrepreneurism, and Rural Innovation- AVENIR) program, which aims to engage up to 320 entrepreneurial and ambitious young men and women, and provides the training, mentoring, and work experience needed to become successful entrepreneurs and change agents in a competitive agricultural sector.

  1. Human and Institutional Capacity Development (HICD): CNFA collaborates with the Strengthening Market-led Agricultural Research, Technology, and Education (SMARTE) program implemented by Winrock International (Winrock) to implement the AVENIR program.
  2. A Focus on Private Sector Engagement and Entrepreneurship: SAVY activities aim to increase positive risk-taking, the use of mobile money, and access to and use of affordable credit tools to facilitate new market linkages.
  3. Women’s Empowerment: SAVY activities facilitate opportunities for women in the horticulture and livestock value chains, and in processing and marketing activities. The project works to mitigate constraints faced by women and female youth, such as limited access to and understanding of credit, heavier work burdens, and limited ability to make decisions about agricultural production, expenditures, and division of land parcels.

Partners:

  1. Strengthening Market-led Agricultural Research, Technology, and Education (SMARTE) program implemented by Winrock International (Winrock International)
  2. World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO)
  3. Enclude Inc.

Liberia Agribusiness Development Activity

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Overview:

In Liberia, CNFA has implemented the Feed the Future Liberia Agribusiness Development Activity (LADA) (2015-2020), funded by USAID. LADA aims to increase incomes of smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs throughout Liberia to expand access to and use of agricultural inputs, improve post-harvest handling activities, and streamline high-potential agricultural value chains.

Program Approach:

  1. Linking Markets Through Private Sector Engagement: LADA uses a results-driven and sustainability approach to increase private sector investment in agricultural input systems, post-harvest handling, transport, and processing activities, and to strengthen the market environment with information, advocacy, and support;
  1. Training and Capacity Building: LADA has established 24 different aggregation clusters across the country to select appropriate agribusinesses, sustainable and transparent cooperatives, and has established agro-dealers to provide specialized trainings and certifications;
  2. Financial Management: LADA manages a credit guarantee facility to catalyze the extension of credit to agro-dealers by supply companies and financial institutions to mitigate the high risk associated with agricultural lending. Another financial tool, the Agribusiness Investment Network (AIN), is housed in BSC Monrovia in order to provide a platform through which agricultural and agribusiness agents, NGOs, and financial institutions can interact;
  3. Increasing Access to Market Information and Digital Financial Services: Enclude, a CNFA partner, is exploring the development of a DFS product portfolio, delivery channels, and risk management mechanisms for LADA. This technology will allow smallholders to make better-informed decisions for production, processing, and marketing processes through value chain gap analyses;
  4. Youth, Gender and Social Capital: LADA targets youth in the project’s agro-dealer development interventions and will link smallholder farming youth groups to aggregators and buyers. CNFA also employs a full-time Gender Specialist who maps gender roles and decision-making power within the targeted value chains, ascertains gender roles, and examines issues related to women’s time, workloads, access to information, and control over resources.

Partners:

  1. Enclude
  2. Business Start-Up Center Monrovia’s network
  3. The Global Cold Chain Alliance

Georgia Hazelnut Improvement Project

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Overview:

The Georgia Hazelnut Improvement Project (G-HIP) is a five-year project (2015-2020) funded and implemented by the Global Development Alliance (GDA) (USAID, Ferrero, and CNFA) to increase the sustainable capacity and private sector development of the hazelnut industry in Georgia.

Hazelnuts represent Georgia’s largest agricultural export by value and support the livelihoods of more than 50,000 growers and processors, but due to inconsistent quality and lack of market distinction, Georgian hazelnuts often sell at lower prices. The Alliance will transform and streamline the hazelnut value chain to improve the quality of Georgian hazelnuts.

Program Approach:

  1. Capacity Building and Association Development: G-HIP provides training to beneficiaries such as the Georgian Hazelnut Growers Association (GHGA) and the Hazelnut Exporters and Processors Association (HEPA) to strengthen the capacity of the existing drying and storage infrastructure and maximize impact in the sector;
  2. Increased Productivity and Competitiveness: G-HIP implements activities to mitigate inefficient value chain dynamics, including the introduction of a post-harvest quality incentive system, technology upgrades to post-harvest infrastructure, and improved access to finance for value chain stakeholders;
  3. Infrastructure Development and Marketing: To expand export marketing opportunities for Georgian hazelnuts, GHGA initiates efforts to improve traceability and widen the use of soil testing to enhance hazelnut quality along the value chain.

Feed the Future Egypt Food Security and Agribusiness Support

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Overview:

CNFA has implemented the USAID Feed the Future Egypt Food Security and Agribusiness Support project (2015-2020) to increase incomes and improve food security for at least 14,000 Upper Egyptian smallholder farmers across seven focal governorates – including Assiut, Aswan, Beni-Suef, Luxor, Minya, Qena, and Sohag. Over five years, the project will improve health and educational opportunities for women and youth as well as increase household purchasing power.

Program Approach:

Egypt FAS uses an “agricultural value chain” approach to improve horticulture productivity, access to markets, value-adding activities, and commercial linkages with input and service suppliers.

  1. Improved Market Systems: FAS supports improved on-farm production, more efficient post-harvest processes, and improved marketing of agriculture crops and products;
  2. Improved Nutritional Status of Women and Children: FAS integrates nutrition-sensitive agriculture by increasing income opportunities and nutrition education in its target regions;
  3. Gender Inclusivity and Sensitivity: Gender is a cross-cutting issue in the FAS project and is considered throughout the program;
  4. Improved Agricultural Inputs and Services: FAS strengthens input suppliers, agriculture processors and support services, and leverages proven ICT capabilities to bring interventions to scale;
  5. Governance and Private Sector Engagement: The project creates a policy-enabling environment and instills an understanding of the role of value chain governance as well as the recognition of the importance of inter-firm relationships and stakeholder participation.

Partners:

  1. Winrock International
  2. Arizona State University
  3. World Food Logistics Organization

Agrodealer Strengthening Program

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Overview:

CNFA returned to the birthplace of its widely respected agro-dealer model, first developed in Zimbabwe from 2000 to 2005 and since successfully implemented in Kenya, Malawi, Mali, and Tanzania. When CNFA closed out its program in Zimbabwe in 2005, it had built a network of 1,030 trained agro-dealers covering much of the country. The 18-month Agro-dealer Strengthening Program (ASP-Z) aimed to revitalize and create a more robust network of agro-dealers through which improved inputs and technology could flow to rural smallholder farmers, increasing agricultural production and improving rural livelihoods. ASP-Z laid the framework for a vibrant input supply sector, which created jobs, improved livelihoods, and brought food security to thousands of individuals, bolstering rural economies throughout the provinces of Masvingo, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, and Midlands.

Program Approach:

  1. Provided training in business management, as well as technical training on new crop varieties, production technologies, and the safe use, handling, and storage of fertilizers and crop protection products;
  2. Worked with agro-dealers, input suppliers, and research institutions to stimulate demand for improved inputs and production practices through demonstration plots and farmer field days;
  3. Stimulated investment in agro-dealers and increased rural access to finance through guarantee and matching grants facilities;
  4. Created sustainable agro-dealer associations to advocate for member interests.

West Africa Seed Alliance

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Overview:

Access to inputs such as improved seed varieties, fertilizer, and crop protection products are imperative to the transformation of the agricultural sector. The Seeds Project, part of the West Africa Seed Alliance (WASA), was created to transform West African agriculture from subsistence farming to profitable, self-sustaining, and competitive commercial agriculture. CNFA implemented the five-year project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), with partners The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics and Iowa State University. The project sought to modernize seed distribution systems, facilitate smallholder farmer access to improved seed varieties, improve seed production technologies, and strengthen links to credit and markets. The Seeds Project strengthened West Africa’s seed system across Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger, and Senegal.

Program Approach:

  • Advanced the development and implementation of national seed laws and regulations;
  • Created and strengthened private seed enterprises;
  • Provided business management and technical trainings;
  • Produced foundation for certified seed and make available for distribution;
  • Conducted seed variety trials for cereals and vegetables.

Business Management Training: The Agro-dealer Business Training Program built the business capacity of local seed company managers through training on business planning, supply chain management, and marketing. The six-module training model included: managing working capital, managing stocks, costing and pricing, selling and marketing, record keeping, and managing business relationships.

Agricultural Productivity: The WASA program worked with local institutions to build agricultural potential in specific focus areas. Bringing improved access to input supplies, availability of technology and technology transfer to farmers, and increased access to credit for rural smallholders, the program made significant impacts on production practices throughout WASA countries. Field days were an effective medium in spreading awareness of improved farming methods. With participants spanning from local farmers and agro-dealers to government officials and major supply companies, the input systems in target countries saw marked improvement.

Seed and Input Supply systems: WASA aimed to develop viable agricultural inputs systems and support the overall growth of the West Africa agricultural sector by creating a sustainable commercial seed industry that provides small-scale farmers with affordable, timely, and reliable access to high quality seeds and planting materials. In cooperation with input supply companies, WASA organized demonstration plots and farmer field days to enhance awareness about new products and technologies.

Technical Training: CNFA worked through input-supply companies and commercial trainers to build capacity on safe usage and handling of products. To complement these trainings, WASA also organized demonstration plots and farmer field days to enhance awareness about new products and technologies. Field demos provided an excellent educational tool to teach both agro-dealers and farmers about new varieties and correct herbicide and fertilizer application.

Output Marketing: WASA linked agro-dealers and farmer producer groups to commodity traders and crop processors to create market pull for farmer production, and assisted seed companies and associations in establishing seed marketing strategies.

Tanzania Agrodealer Strengthening Program

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Overview:

Launched in 2007, the Tanzania Agro-dealer Strengthening Program (TASP), funded by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, has been successful in building and supporting a vibrant agro-dealer network capable of serving smallholder farmer demands for improved inputs, services, and marketing. Like CNFA’s other agro-dealer development programs, TASP focused on business and technical training as well as capacity building. Programming also focused on facilitating access to financial services, output marketing, processing, value adding services, and policy advocacy through association development.

TASP also designed and supported the Tanzanian government’s targeted subsidy program to link agro-dealers to the local seed industry and has been scaled up to foster the development of a nationwide rural market network. In 2010, TASP expanded into new districts, allowing CNFA to improve productivity and incomes for additional farm households in remote and underserved areas. Since 2007, TASP has certified over 2,600 agro-dealers, who are providing products and services to over 1.5 million smallholder farmers and improving the lives of nearly 8 million people.

Program Approach:

  • Built agro-dealer capacity to better serve farmers through a proven six-part technical training covering: managing working capital, managing stocks, selling and marketing, basic record keeping, costing and pricing, and managing business relationships;
  • Facilitated demand creation by establishing demonstration plots and farmer field days showcasing new agricultural inputs;
  • Promoted improved linkage to financial services for agro-dealers through forums and clinics focusing on licensing, completion of a business plan, and access to capital.

Seed Industry & Smart Input Subsidy Distribution: At the program’s outset, CNFA focused on the five Southern Highlands districts targeted by the Government of Tanzania (GoT) for its smart, targeted subsidy program (Fast Track Districts) and five districts in the Arusha, Meru, and Kilimanjaro regions in Northern Tanzania. In Year 2, TASP expanded into the seven other districts in Manyara and Morogoro regions. Around Arusha, CNFA integrated agro-dealer development efforts with initiatives to improve Tanzania’s local seed industry, including foundation seed enterprises and local seed companies. Early activities focused on the design of a smart input subsidy program for sustainably implementing government subsidies to targeted communities and on developing the network of agro-dealers necessary to implement this subsidy program.

Association Development: CNFA supported seven district associations that were fully registered and ten that were in nascent stages of development. One of the associations supported by CNFA was the Songea Agro-dealer Association (SADA). SADA offers a powerful example of the benefits that a well-run association can accrue for its members and the influence that can be exerted. For example:

  • SADA successfully advocated against the practice of Regional and District officials dictating prices at which inputs could be sold;
  • SADA also proposed the “master input subsidy” concept that CNFA later brought to the MAFC, which would be issued by district officials on presentation of numerous input subsidies by the agro-dealer;
  • Where individual group members (particularly startup agro-dealers) experienced difficulty in securing input supply credit, SADA managed to successfully negotiate for credit as an association;
  • SADA leased an office in Songea Town and hired a coordinator to administer their activities.

Strengthening the Agro-dealer Network: TASP encouraged the establishment of new agro-dealerships in remote, underserved areas through matching grants, a credit guarantee facility, and demand creation activity that gave the farmer an opportunity to physically witness the benefits of improved agronomic practices and inputs. In addition, technical trainings to strengthen agro-dealer capacity, agro-dealer association development, and linking agro-dealers to financial institutions were key parts of the approach.

The Business Management Training (BMT) raised agro-dealers’ business standards of management and acumen, allowing the MAFC to exclusively link the handling of the subsidy inputs to agro-dealers’ successful completion of BMT. CNFA trained an additional 849 agro-dealers in 24 districts beyond the 17 in the original TASP scope to pave the way for the National Agricultural Inputs Voucher Scheme.

South Sudan Cattle Program

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Overview:

The two-year South Sudan Cattle Program (SSCP), funded by the U.S. Department of State (DOS), sought to mitigate local conflicts through the development of a cattle identification and livestock ownership and registration system to reduce both cattle theft and trade of stolen cattle. With over 12 million cattle in South Sudan, the livestock are an important source of rural livelihoods and play a central role in defining social status. Cattle theft is a common occurrence, and stolen animals are a source of meat, milk, and dowry.

Program Approach:

CNFA conducted on-the-ground research to identify the best practices to reduce cattle theft and inter-clan conflicts, with a specific focus on the development of an improved identification method and coupled with a cattle ownership registration program.

A 2012 assessment identified non-radio frequency identification tags as the cheapest, easiest, and most reliable method of identification, where cattle were uniquely numbered and entered into a cloud-based registry designed specifically for SSCP. Through a consultative process and an intensive assessment and design phase, CNFA designed a traceability system that was tailored to the realities of South Sudan, providing the greatest opportunities for sustainable expansion and implementation at a national level.

The CNFA team launched a pilot identification and registration system that enabled individual cattle to be traced for life. Coupled with the identification system, SSCP activities supported the development of a computerized cattle ownership registration center.

Another important factor was the ongoing coordination between the Government of South Sudan (GOSS), especially the Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries (MARF), and Community Animal Health Worker (CAHW) volunteers. Under the two-year pilot project, CNFA worked closely with the MARF to identify and catalog the ownership of over 25,000 livestock, training large teams of CAHWs who carried out the work of tagging and capturing the data for animals and owners.

The overall goal of the project was to tag 150,000 cattle with non-radio frequency ear tags. Unfortunately, SSCP was suspended in April 2014 and then formally closed by the Department of State in September of the same year, due to escalating safety issues as a result of the violence that began in December 2013.

As of last tagging count, 23,232 cattle were tagged and entered into the SSCP database. Over 460 community mobilization meetings were held, helping to inform over 7,220 people about LITS. Many initially-skeptical community members in the targeted regions saw stolen animals returned to their rightful owners, helping spread the concept of adopting cattle tagging practices. Thus far, over 700 community members have tagged their cattle. The ultimate goal of the project was to reduce cattle theft by 25% and preliminary results indicate over a 60% reduction in cattle theft.

Partnership for Economic Growth

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Overview:

The Partnership for Economic Growth (PEG) was a two-and-a-half year project funded by USAID, which supported the Somali people’s goal to improve economic growth and livelihoods in Somaliland and Puntland. Under the leadership of DAI, the program collaborated with the Ministry of Livestock, Ministry of Commerce, and private sector groups to better the envi­ronment for investment and export marketing and generated agricultural-based employment.

The livestock sector in Somaliland faced significant challenges, including increased competition from neighboring nations, trade barriers due to disease control, lack of access to veterinary inputs, and inefficient veteri­nary services. However, a strengthened livestock sector is vital, as 65% of the economy is comprised of livestock-related commerce. In partnership with private and public sector, CNFA contributed its experience targeting all livestock value chains to assist the sector in the following areas:

Program Approach:

  • Capacity building of local veterinary service providers;
  • Improved animal feed and education for fodder farmers;
  • Provided veterinary services;
  • Trained of community animal health workers (CAHW);
  • Strengthened and improved commercial livestock feed supply systems;
  • Strengthened feedlot enterprises;
  • Developed dairy processing facilities, conducted livestock end-market analyses, and provided rural financial services.
  • Livestock Component:The Livestock Component was the largest of the PEG Project, where CNFA advised local non-profit organizations and enterprises that were recipients of capacity building grants and matching grants. These grants were utilized for the creation and implementation of demonstration farms, technical training in improved livestock care, dairy and fodder production techniques, livestock fattening programs, and capacity building of local stakeholders.
  • Matching Grants to Local Enterprises:The CNFA Livestock Component collaborated with four small and medium livestock enterprises under a matching grant component. The goal of the matching grant component was to expand various sub-sectors of the Somali livestock industry through local organizations. PEG matching grant recipients and illustrative activities underwent the following:
    • Al Husseini Farm and An’Aam Farm are Somali feed lot enterprises that received PEG grants and technical training in improved fodder production techniques. An’Aam Farm was created by an association of multiple investors, who collectively contributed more than $1 million in funds to create the farm. Al Husseini Farm operated on a much smaller scale, but both were fully functional feedlots providing animal fattening services to local farmers;
    • Horumar Farm was a model dairy farm, established with PEG support, which specialized in camel milk and fodder production. Horumar Farm received a small matching grant to provide fodder production, dairy production, and dairy processing trainings to increase the quality of milk in the surrounding area. Inspired by the success of Horumar farm, one Somali woman purchased several camels purely to be able to take advantage of the growing market.
    • With PEG capacity building assistance, Togheer Womens Livestock Traders Association initiated a small ruminants buying scheme, which purchased ruminants in rural areas and transported the animals to urban areas – primarily Buroa – or exported them regionally to an area with an increased demand and a higher price. Making only a $3 profit per head, the association applied for a PEG grant to begin a small-scale feedlot. The fattening station increased the weight of the sheep and goats, resulting in a price increase of up to 20% per animal at the end market.
  • Capacity Building of Somali NGOs:Under CNFA leadership, four local non-profit organizations were contracted to implement training programs and develop community-based demonstration farms where training in fodder production (i.e., variety selection, harvesting techniques, hay baling and storage, and mineral supplementation) and animal health (i.e., disease control, drug quality, and use) would be available.

Expanding Regional Access to Micro-finance and Start-up Capital: Kaaba Microfinance Institution (K-MKFI), the only MFI in Somaliland, was able to open a new office in the town of Gabiley through PEG program funds, serving micro-enterprises and the informal markets in Western Somaliland. K-MKFI uses an Islamic-compliant lending methodology, which enables a previously untapped market in rural areas to access finance. The majority of K-MKFI’s micro-finance clients were small-scale livestock producers and traders:

  • PEG contracted AIMS, a local consultancy firm, to complete an end market analysis of the livestock value chain in Somaliland and the larger region (Egypt, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen). This analysis and subsequent PEG knowledge transfer activity highlighted both opportunities and constraints facing the livestock value chain in the region;
  • The Livestock Investment Chapter of the 2013 Somaliland Investment Guide synthesized the findings of PEG’s Livestock End Market Study. The Investment Guide highlighted investment opportunities through a printed edition and website feature, which provides a platform to expand access to investment capital and targets potential diaspora investors.