2014 represented a significant year in the development of CNFA. During this past September, my colleagues gathered together with some of CNFA’s Board members to discuss and design our organization’s strategic plan for the next three years. This resulted in the creation of an ambitious Road Map to guide CNFA in better serving our beneficiaries, partners and employees. But most importantly, it reminded me and our entire staff of why we do what we do: to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers by helping them become more sustainable and economically viable.
And through my communication with colleagues located in 15 countries, as well as with our program partners, I see this happening every day. Through the USAID-funded Livestock Market Development project, our team is helping to improve the competitiveness of meat, live animal and dairy value chains in Ethiopia. We work with four local organizations that are at the frontline of project implementation, engaging with hundreds of beneficiaries daily. By working with local partners, we strengthen their capacity, which in return not only helps to better serve project beneficiaries but also helps the organizations become more sustainable. We support similar approaches in our other projects including the recently launched USAID-funded Resilience and Economic Growth in the Sahel – Accelerated Growth focused on strengthening market access for cow peas, small ruminants, and poultry in Niger and Burkina Faso. And through our USAID Food for Peace program in Zimbabwe, we partner with a local grassroots organization to improve the resilience of communities prone to shocks by implementing food for asset interventions and supporting early warning systems.
As we strive to maximize program impact for beneficiaries and continue to build stronger local and global partnerships, we place an equal importance on the development of our staff. We’ve added new resources and tools to help equip our staff to grow both personally and professionally. Our open-door office culture makes it easy for staff to communicate across all departments and management levels. But something that I’m particularly proud of is our staff’s role in CNFA’s large rebranding initiative.
Our new tagline, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture, came as an idea from a staff member who felt that this betpt>ter represents the work we do and our commitment to both our beneficiaries and partners. I couldn’t agree more. The tagline, along with our new logo, serves as another reminder of how we aim to be at the forefront of sustainable development and incorporate innovative and entrepreneurial interventions into our approach.
Together, with our employees and partners, I feel that we are well positioned to lead by example. While 2014 will be remembered as a year of significant growth and development for our organization, 2015 will mark our 30th year anniversary and will provide the chance to put our Road Map in action. On behalf of the entire organization, we look forward to working with you.
CNFA President & CEO