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ISSUE #36 JANUARY 2015
Feed the Future is the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative. For more information, or to subscribe to this publicationplease visit www.feedthefuture.gov.

Partnering with the Private Sector on Food Security

Harrison Zakara, an agriculture dealer (right), opened a store next to his house to sell herbicides and certified seeds. He also teaches modern farming methods to local farmers in Chakuwawa village, Zambia. Zakara was trained by a Feed the Future project to advise other farmers on agricultural products and best practices. With the extra income he earns from the store and higher yielding crops, Zakara is able to care for 17 family members. 
Credit: Greg Kahn

 

Economic growth is key to transforming agriculture and food security; and growth in agriculture is at least twice as effective at reducing poverty compared to growth in other sectors. That's why Feed the Future works to empower smallholder farmers and their families over the long term by connecting them to the business opportunities and markets that can help lift them out of poverty in a sustainable way.


 
One of the most important drivers of economic growth is a vibrant private sector - from small-scale farming enterprises and agro-dealers serving local communities to multinational companies with agricultural investments around the globe, private businesses help bring market access and cutting-edge innovation to the development sphere. By partnering with the private sector, Feed the Future is combating extreme poverty and moving closer to the vision of a world where development assistance is no longer needed.

 

And this partnership works both ways: not only do small-scale agricultural producers and processors around the world benefit from more opportunities to earn income, but American and international companies who invest in the agriculture sector are at the forefront of some of the world's fastest-growing markets. Foreign direct investment in Africa alone more than tripled over a decade to $46 billion in 2012, and today, Feed the Future is helping to build this momentum through efforts like the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, which is mobilizing more than $10 billion in responsible private investments.


 
Government commitment to global food security is essential, but it isn't enough to end hunger for the more than 800 million people worldwide who are chronically undernourished. To reach that goal in our lifetimes, we need dynamic markets growing from the ground up, as well as businesses with expertise and the entrepreneurial drive to expand into new markets. Read on to learn how Feed the Future is engaging the private sector in a meaningful, comprehensive way to meet the global food security challenge.

HARNESSING THE POWER OF THE AMERICAN PRIVATE SECTOR


Women sort coffee beans at a washing station.

Credit: OPIC

ARKANSAS COFFEE COMPANY TEAMS UP WITH SMALLHOLDER FARMERS IN RWANDA

Arkansas businessman Scott Ford seized a business opportunity and formed the Rwanda Trading Company to modernize Rwanda's coffee sector, increase production and help local farmers export to international markets. 


Andreia Bianchini (left) and Luis Eduardo Sabill├▓n (center) from the University of Nebraska demonstrate how to use moisture meters.
Credit: Carlos Campabadal 
AMERICAN COMPANIES BRING AGRICULTURAL TECHNOLOGIES TO SMALLHOLDER FARMERS

By partnering with American companies who specialize in agricultural technologies, Feed the Future helps smallholder farmers get the tools they need to increase the safety and profitability of food crops.  

PRIVATE SECTOR-POWERED SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION


Credit: Patcharin Taridno
BEADS AND SEEDS: HOW FEED THE FUTURE AND A COMPANY CALLED RHINO RESEARCH ARE HELPING VEGETABLE FARMERS

Drying beads, produced by Rhino Research, absorb moisture from the air and reduce seed moisture content to very low levels, helping to improve germination.  


Credit: Beverly Shitandi/USAID Kenya
KENYA'S SMALLHOLDER DAIRY FARMERS INVEST IN HYDROPONIC TECHNOLOGY

Hydroponic farming is a new concept to Kenyan smallholder farmers, who are taking it up as they come to recognize its affordability and suitability for small-scale farming. 


Credit: Jennifer Silverberg
PARTNERSHIP IS GOOD FOR PEANUT PRODUCTION IN HAITI

Peanut farmers in the Peasant's Association of Savanne Longue in Haiti had a very productive 2014 growing season. In part, this was the culmination of years of collaboration between an array of government, university, civil society, and private sector partners on food security. 


Credit: Fintrac Inc.
A NEW TWIST ON SEED TECHNOLOGY

Private seed companies in East Africa are working together to bring to market a new herbicide-coated maize seed variety that has the power to combat Striga, a parasitic weed that infests up to 50 million hectares of Sub-Saharan African land.  


Credit: Sulav Paudel 
WORKING WITH THE PRIVATE SECTOR IN NEPAL TO PROMOTE A FRIENDLY FUNGUS

A naturally occurring fungus like Trichoderma, which kills off pathogens that attack the roots of plants, can increase agricultural production without jeopardizing the environment or human health. 


Credit: USAID/PCE
MODERN PROCESSING FACILITIES DOUBLE RICE SEED PRODUCTION IN SENEGAL

Feed the Future is helping farmers in the Senegal River Valley access more and better seeds by upgrading the infrastructure for seed processing and introducing new models for management of these facilities. One seed processing plant has since doubled its annual output of certified quality seeds to better meet demand.  


Credit: Emilia Tjernstr÷m
A NEW SEED COMPANY ON THE RISE IN KENYA

Can a local private seed company create and market the technical innovations needed to boost the productivity of Kenya's small-scale maize producers and improve their living standards? It's a tall order, but the Western Seed Company in Kitale, Kenya thinks it has what it takes.  


Credit: USAID/MARKET
PARTNERING WITH INDONESIA ON MOBILE EXTENSION SERVICES FOR IMPROVED REGIONAL FISH FARMING

Teaming up with an Indonesian startup company, 8Villages, USAID has helped launch AquaFIS - the Aqua Farmer Information System. The mobile phone service helps small-scale fish and shrimp farmers access real-time data through SMS, Android applications or online forums. 


Credit: CIMMYT-India
PRIVATE SECTOR PARTNERS BRING AN INNOVATIVE EDGE TO HEAT TOLERANT MAIZE RESEARCH IN ASIA

By developing and deploying heat-resilient, hybrid varieties of maize, Feed the Future gives farmers a chance to thrive in the face of increasingly volatile weather conditions.  

PEACE CORPS IN FOCUS: VOLUNTEERS SUPPORT GRASSROOTS PRIVATE INDUSTRY


Credit: Peace Corps
FROM GARDEN TO BUSINESS TO MARKET: PEACE CORPS HELPS CARVE A PATH TO SUSTAINABLE FOOD SECURITY

Peace Corps Volunteer Jacob Moore collaborated with community partners in Cameroon to organize a course on how to use gardening skills to build a small-scale business.  


Credit: Peace Corps
A SMALL INVESTMENT YIELDS BIG REWARDS FOR LOCAL FISHERY IN BENIN

Moise Gbenou used a small grant to construct five concrete tanks to hold young and adult fish, increasing his farm's contribution to the region's food security and expanding its capacity to train local smallholder farmers. 

FACES OF FEED THE FUTURE


Credit: Fintrac Inc.
AVOCADO FARMERS IN TANZANIA BUILD EXPORT MARKET WITH SUPPORT FROM FEED THE FUTURE

For the first time, thousands of smallholder farmers in Tanzania are producing and selling high-quality avocados to large markets throughout Europe.  


Credit: William Benjamin/USAID
JUNGLE BEAT BUSTS A MOVE IN ZAMBIA'S GROUNDNUTS SECTOR

When Peter Nieuwoudt first started his company, he drove around Zambia in his truck searching for farmers to be part of Jungle Beat's grower network, pitching a tent in any village he found himself in when the sun went down. Today, Jungle Beat buys groundnuts from 11,000 smallholder farmers. 


Credit: Fintrac Inc., courtesy of Papaya Trading Company
BUSINESS GROWTH BENEFITS SMALLHOLDERS IN CAMBODIA

With help from a Feed the Future project in Cambodia, the Papaya Trading Company, headed by Chiv Vanndy, has seen drip irrigation sales skyrocket by 85 percent over the past three years.  


Credit: USAID/PRIME
DAIRY ENTREPRENEURS RAMP UP PRODUCTION IN PASTORAL ETHIOPIA

Feed the Future is providing technical and financial support to companies like Berwako Milk Processing PLC, a venture recently established by local entrepreneur Amir Mukhtar in Jijiga, the capital of the Somali Region of Ethiopia.  

STRENGTHENING AGRICULTURAL MARKETS


Credit: USAID
WITH A BOOST FROM FEED THE FUTURE, MALAWI'S SEED MARKET STARTS TO FLOURISH

A little friendly competition goes a long way when it comes to seed production in southern Africa.   


Credit: Megan Johnson, USAID/Tanzania
FEED THE FUTURE HELPS TANZANIAN FARMERS RALLY THE RICE INDUSTRY

In Tanzania, cooperation between the public and private sector is becoming more comprehensive as the government and a coalition of private rice producers learn to work together to strengthen the country's rice industry. 


Credit: USAID
IN TAJIKISTAN, MARKET-BASED INTERVENTIONS ADDRESS IODINE DEFICIENCY DISORDERS

Salt iodization is a simple and proven approach to prevent iodine deficiency. The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) is working with the Government of Tajikistan to implement universal salt iodization through both market-based interventions to increase consumer preference for iodized salt and active private sector engagement to drive production and marketing.  


Credit: David Snyder/ICRW
STRONGER FARMER-TO-SUPPLIER NETWORKS BUILD BETTER OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN IN KENYA

A Feed the Future project in Kenya is working to address the production constraints and underlying gender inequalities women farmers face both on the farm and in their households.   


Credit: Fintrac Inc.
NEW PARTNERS INVEST IN MOZAMBIQUE'S FARMERS

Four new public-private partnerships in Mozambique bring together entrepreneurs, large agribusinesses, farmer associations and financial institutions to improve smallholder farming. 


Credit: USAID/Timor Leste
CONTRACT FARMING CREATES COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITIES IN HORTICULTURE

On average, farmers participating in a USAID project in Timor-Leste have doubled their incomes, and some farmers have even quadrupled their incomes. 


GUATEMALA'S PRIVATE SECTOR HELPS RAMP UP THE FIGHT AGAINST COFFEE RUST

With support from Feed the Future, a complete pest disease control program in 2014 reduced the coffee rust infection rate on JosÚ de Leˇn's farm to just 15 percent and his production losses to almost zero. 

FROM THE FEED THE FUTURE BLOG


Credit: Mal˘
IN MALI, SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP DRIVES THE AGRICULTURE SECTOR FORWARD

Feed the Future catches up with Salif Romano Niang to hear about his company's progress since 2013 and how he envisions the private sector continuing to advance food security in Mali.   


Credit: Fennell Photography
GOOGLE SCIENCE FAIR AWARDS TOP PRIZE TO YOUNG AGRICULTURAL SCIENTISTS ON A MISSION TO END HUNGER

What did you spend your free time doing when you were a teenager? Most of us can't say we were dedicating ourselves to solving some of the world's greatest challenges, but that's just what Ciara Judge, ╔mer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow - all 17 years old - set out to do when they entered the 2014 Google Science Fair with a cutting-edge approach to tackling global hunger through better agricultural productivity.

          Learn More

ANNOUNCEMENTS


Credit: Thinc Design 
AMERICAN FOOD 2.0 AT THE MILAN EXPO

Food security and nutrition will be featured prominently as part of the USA Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015, this year's iteration of the World's Fair, which will open to the public on May 1 and run through October 31.

The Milan Expo, which has the theme "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life," is organized around a central question: How do we feed nine billion people by 2050? The United States will be one of 145 participating countries along with dozens of international and non-governmental organizations that will gather in Northern Italy in a few months. Onsite attendance is expected to exceed 20 million people and millions more will tune in virtually.

The design and execution of the USA Pavilion are being coordinated through a public-private partnership that includes the Department of State, the Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and other federal agencies working in tandem with the "Friends of the USA Pavilion." The Friends include the James Beard Foundation, the International Culinary Center and the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy. Thinc Design, the same company that created the 9/11 Museum in New York City, is the creative team behind the USA Pavilion.   

Learn More

Special Event: Policy Responses to Food Price Volatility

How do governments make food policy decisions? Are they driven by data, special interests, theories of change or a combination of all three? Per Pinstrup-Andersen, World Food Prize laureate and Professor at Cornell University, and Danielle Resnick, research fellow at IFPRI and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy, will discuss the drivers of food policy change and food price fluctuations.

 

February 2, 2015

11:00am - 12:30pm

Ronald Reagan Building

Washington, DC
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

NEWS & MEDIA


News 

January 21, 2015, Bill and Melinda Gates (The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)

January 21, 2015 (USAID)

January 14, 2015 (Institute for Globally Transformative Technologies Lawrence Berkeley National Lab)

January 14, 2015, Melanie Johnson (California State Polytechnic University)

January 12, 2015 (Purdue University)

Opinions & Blogs 

January 22, 2015, David Leonhardt (New York Times)

January 21, 2015, Lynne Weil (USGLC)

January 21, 2015, Paula Savanti (The Guardian)

January 21, 2015, Tony Kalm (The World Economic Forum)

Video 

January 22, 2015 (Huffington Post Live) 
ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER
This newsletter is intended to enhance collaboration and information-sharing about implementation of Feed the Future. To subscribe or to find out more information about Feed the Future, please visit our website.