Maximizing Opportunities in Cocoa Activity

Maximizing Opportunities in Cocoa Activity

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Overview:

CNFA has implemented the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Maximizing Opportunities in Cocoa Activity (MOCA) (2017-2020), focused on increasing the productivity and efficiency of actors in the cocoa value chain to expand the trade of cocoa and cocoa products, improve the quality of cocoa, and increase farmer income.

Cote d’Ivoire’s cocoa sector represents more than one-third of the world’s cocoa supply and the country’s number one export, supporting 3.5 million people — including 600,000 smallholder farmers and their families, who have limited capacity to increase the amount of quality beans they can sell. CNFA works with cocoa cooperatives, smallholder farmers, the Government of Cote d’Ivoire, and the private sector to tackle some of these market issues.

Program Approach:

  1. Supporting Producer Groups & Cooperatives: MOCA supports farmer cooperatives in areas such as governance, management, human resources, finance, service delivery, external relations with input and service suppliers and buyers, and sustainability;
  2. Working with Government & Institutions: The project supports government institutions in expanding research on and propagation of disease-resistant and improved cocoa seeds and seedlings, as well as increasing farmer access to these enhanced inputs through MOCA’s grant mechanism and technical assistance facility;
  3. Providing Business Development Services (BDS): MOCA delivers BDS support to cocoa processors and businesses in rural and urban areas, and targets entrepreneurs who would like to launch businesses along the value chain in cocoa grinding and processing, value addition, and pooled transportation;
  4. Facilitating Agricultural Lending: The project partners with banks and micro-finance institutions (MFIs) to increase producer access to and use of mobile money, insurance, and credit services, as well as to pilot new financial services such as crop insurance and delivery channels for cash and in-kind credit;
  5. In-Kind Grants for Equipment and Inputs: MOCA distributes competitive, in-kind matching grants to cooperatives, producers, input supply professionals, and processors throughout the cocoa value chain, which complements research and adoption of improved productivity and post-harvest handling practices;
  6. Developing Agro-dealers & Input Suppliers: MOCA trains and establishes a network of “spray-service professionals” (SSPs) who provide affordable, fee-based services facilitated by cooperatives for other producers;
  7. Training on Improved Production Techniques: MOCA develops and leads a pilot program to regenerate plantations for cocoa producers (individuals) in the cocoa belt region, prioritizing applications from women and youth;
  8. Facilitate Buyer-Seller Relationships: The project improves market access by targeting support to unorganized farmers, associations, and cooperatives that do not currently have formal relationships with exporters and facilitate linkages with reputable cocoa processors and buyers.

Partners:

  1. SOCODEVI

Feed the Future Nigeria and Nestle Maize Quality Improvement Partnership

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Overview:

The Feed the Future Nigeria and Nestlé Maize Quality Improvement Partnership (M-QIP) (2017-2020) enhances the quality and safety of maize and soybeans available to Nestlé’s food processing factories while supporting USAID’s goals of revitalizing Nigeria’s agriculture sector and improving nutrition along these cereal value chains. The partnership will utilize a “whole-of-supply-chain” approach to enhance the quality, safety, and transparency of the Nestlé supply chain.

Program Approach:

  1. Capacity Building of Smallholder Farmer Suppliers: To catalyze better conduct and performance in the maize and soybean value chains in Kaduna State, our activities focus on the three main stakeholder groups within the supply chains: smallholder farmers, intermediaries, and input retailers;
  2. Capacity Building of Local Organizations: With the support of the Nigeria Youth Service Corps program and local extension agents, M-QIP catalogs and maps the many associations and cooperatives that play a role in improving the yield and product quality of smallholder farmers in the maize and soybean growing regions and along market routes, specifically near Nestlé’s current sourcing areas and storage networks. Through this process, CNFA kick-starts and sustains engagement with the M-QIP program with all stakeholders, including Nestlé corporate employees, farmers’ associations, government extension service providers, and community leaders.

Partners:

  1. Purdue University

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.