Sub-Saharan Africa contributes less than one percent of the world’s soy, but the crop has the potential to become a key source of income for the region’s farmers. In the next 10 years, TechnoServe hopes to significantly increase the incomes of 200,000 households in southern Africa through the development of a competitive local soy industry.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has provided a grant that will support TechnoServe’s efforts in Zambia and Mozambique. The soy program will build on TechnoServe’s proven model for increasing farmer incomes by promoting improvements across an industry’s entire supply chain. TechnoServe, in partnership with a range of businesses, nonprofits and public-sector organizations, will help farmers purchase premium seeds and other supplies, learn vital techniques for growing soy, and form farmer business organizations. At the same time, TechnoServe will promote investments in soy storage and processing as it works to develop the local feed and livestock industries, ensuring that the smallholder farmers will have a stable market for their crops.