CNFA is changing the lives of rural households all over the world by helping them access the necessary tools and skills to improve their food security and incomes. In 2013, we helped pastoralists in Kenya access Sharia-compliant financing as a result of the creation of the Community Owned Financial Institution, a first of its kind specializing in livestock production. In Ukraine, CNFA provided voluntary technical assistance through the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer program to increase the sales and net incomes for both dairy and crop production companies. More than $11 million in sales were generated by Egyptian olive farmers and processors as beneficiaries of our Zaytun Project. Women, like Abonesh Gulema, improved their business operations from attending a woman-focused entrepreneurship and leadership training as part of CNFA’s approach to bolster dairy production in Ethiopia. While our work is creating sustainable change for the lives of smallholder farmers and pastoralists, change is also happening at CNFA.
In 1985, CNFA was created to engage in the conversation of how the U.S. could improve global economic growth through agricultural programs in the developing world. Since its inception, two individuals have been integral in shaping the mission and guiding principles of CNFA: John H. Costello and John R. Block. Under the forward-thinking leadership of Mr. Costello, CNFA applied a market-driven approach to enhance food security and nutrition in emerging economies by leveraging the private sector to build enterprise-based agriculture systems. One of the first initiatives included the establishment of the Citizens Network Agribusiness Alliance (CNAA). Mr. Block helped spearhead this incredibly successful coalition of more than 220 U.S. food companies, agribusinesses, farm bureaus, banks, trade associations and universities eager to foster growth and build markets for U.S. agricultural products and goods. The CNAA worked in the former Soviet Union and Latin America to engineer innovative partnerships and advise lawmakers on both agricultural and trade policies. Building public-private partnerships is part of CNFA’s DNA in large part due to the vision and guidance of Mr. Costello and Mr. Block.
In 2014, both Mr. Costello and Mr. Block will step down from senior leadership roles. Mr. Block will resign after serving eight years as Chairman of CNFA’s Board of Directors and will remain on the CNFA Board. Mr. Costello will retire after dedicating 29 years of service to CNFA as its President and CEO and will also remain a Board member. While these two visionaries may be scaling back their direct responsibilities, their impact will continue to thrive under the leadership of Mr. Sylvain Roy, CNFA’s new President and CEO.
With more than 25 years of experience in managing international development programs, Mr. Roy joined CNFA in 2009 as Executive Vice President of Programs, overseeing a project portfolio initially valued at $75 million. As part of the executive team, CNFA’s project portfolio expanded to $150 million with programs in Africa, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. With Mr. Roy’s significant experience, coupled with his expertise in a large range of livestock and agricultural value chains, and a talented team the Board of Directors is confident that CNFA will continue to grow, empower rural farmers and implement life-changing programs.
Chairman, Board of Directors
2012 Marked Signiﬁcant Changes for CNFA. This year, we successfully completed programs in Georgia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe, having helped thousands of smallholder farmers overcome development challenges by teaching sustainable agriculture practices, facilitating access to ﬁnance and credit, and building networks of input retailers all around the world. By using market-driven solutions to achieve food security, CNFA builds the competitiveness of rural entrepreneurs by providing assistance at all steps along value chains.
In Georgia, we addressed the country’s severe shortage of agricultural machinery by using a combination of matching grants and private sector investment to establish 21 machinery service centers. This network generated almost $2 million in sales, increased annual incomes of small-scale farmers by more than $6 million and created 195 jobs. We improved smallholder productivity, incomes and livelihoods by building an enterprise-based network of agrodealers that serve as a one-stop shop for agricultural inputs and supplies in Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. In Africa alone, CNFA has supported the development of more than 7,000 agrodealers, who have sold more than $170 million in goods and services to 3.2 million small scale rural producers over the last ﬁve years. In Ghana, we built the local capacity for smallholder cocoa producers by developing business centers to link cocoa producers to cocoa purchasers resulting in 12,000 farmers doubling both their yields and incomes.
2012 also marked the awarding of four new programs valued at $56 million in three new countries—Bangladesh, Ethiopia and South Sudan. In Ethiopia, we are applying our proven track record of market-driven value chain development to increase the competitiveness of selected livestock, meat and dairy value chains. CNFA’s second new program in Ethiopia is employing its Farm Service Center model as a platform for larger-scale, public-private partnerships to expand Ethiopian smallholders’ access to inputs, trainings and services. In Bangladesh, we are starting to build an agro-inputs retailer network which will serve 1 million smallholders and generate more than $100 million in sales. To help mitigate local conﬂicts in South Sudan, CNFA is developing a cattle identiﬁcation and livestock ownership/registration system to help reduce both cattle raiding and sale of stolen cattle.
While 2012 may have been the year of change for CNFA, our priority of supporting the smallholder farmer remains constant. For 28 years, CNFA has actively engaged rural farmers and entrepreneurs in new income-generating activities of their own–enabling them to build brighter futures for themselves and their children. Though new development challenges continue to evolve, I am conﬁdent CNFA will remain at the forefront of helping rural farmers improve their livelihoods and in ultimately achieving global food security.
JOHN H. COSTELLO
President and Chief Executive Ofﬁcer, CNFA
CNFA is part of the Smallholders’ Access to Fertilizers campaign, led by the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) and seven other organizations to promote the importance of fertilizers in improving the productivity of smallholder farmers in Africa.