Stories tagged: USAID

Andrew Medlicott: Driving Growth & Prosperity in Honduras Through Multi-Functional Farming

In this guest blog post, Andrew Medlicott, the Executive Vice President of Latin America & Caribbean at Fintrac outlines the importance of multi-functional farms for reaching numerous development goals. 

Achieving prosperity in the poorest corners of the world hinges on transitioning smallholders from subsistence to farming as a business. At Fintrac, we specialise in making this happen. As a result of our work in 2015 alone, 800,000 smallholders applied new technologies and climate-smart practices, achieving $530 million in sales.

Our success achieving scalable impact is rooted in a multi-functional approach to agricultural development – one that focuses on on-farm productivity and climate adaptation and mitigation, value-addition, and household health and nutrition. Expanding economic opportunities for women and youth also figure prominently in all activities.

Continue reading

Jose Perdomo: Partnering to End Poverty in Honduras

A breakthrough project has recently come to an end in Honduras, that has seen farmer incomes in the second poorest regions of Latin America double. A public private partnership between the USAID ACCESO project, and CropLife Latin America has trained 30,000 farmers on good agricultural practices and proper use of pest control products that have have a significant impact on yields.

Jose Perdomo, President of CropLife Latin America detailed the story of one farmer who benefitted from the project, in a recent blog on the Huffington Post. Continue reading

#AskAg Twitter Chat: Empowering Women at the Head of Family Farms

Thursday 20th March, 11am – 12pm EDT on Twitter

Join the conversation!

2014 is the International Year of Family Farming. But who is at the head of these family-farming households? Research from the FAO has found that up to 40% of households are headed by women in Eastern Africa, and across the developing world, women account for 60 to 80% of smallholder farmers.

Yet these women face economic and social constraints. In sub-Saharan Africa, only 15% of landholders are women, and they receive less than 10% of credit and 7% of extension services.

Policies that address gender inequalities could lift 150 million people out of hunger. How can women be empowered to make this estimation a reality?

Join experts from USAID and global agriculture coalition Farming First on Twitter at 11am EDT on Thursday 20th March to debate the issues with our experts:


Sylvia Cabus is the gender advisor for the Bureau of Food Security at USAID and for the Feed the Future Initiative. She worked for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Kenya, Morocco, Mali,and Burkina Faso. In the United States, Sylvia worked as a program officer with Heifer International, Handicap International, and USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.



Stephanie Hanson is the director of policy and outreach at One Acre Fund, where she manages the government relations and policy team and One Acre Fund’s global policy and advocacy work. From 2006 to 2009, she covered economic and political development in Africa and Latin America for, the website of the Council on Foreign Relations. 



Sue Carlson has been a farmer and family farm advocate much of her life. She currently serves as Facilitator and Chairperson of the World Farmers Organisation Women’s Committee, a GAP Catalyst for the Global Funding and Research Gender in Agricultural Partners, and serves on the Shamba Partnership Board. Over the years she has traveled to nearly 40 different countries advocating for family farmers. 



Sithembile Ndema Mwamakamba is a Project Manager with the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN). She coordinates the FANRPAN Youth and Gender Programme Portfolio, aimed at developing a holistic agriculture policy framework in Africa that will support engagement of youth and women in the agriculture sector. 


Questions to be addressed:

  1. What challenges do women in family farming face in the developing world, and what do they need to thrive?
  2. How can we reach more women farmers worldwide with tools and skills they need?
  3. What are the success stories that show the benefits of investing in rural women? How do we measure this success?
  4. How do we identify and empower male allies in the quest to improve women-run family farms?
  5. Women farmers are often both the breadwinners and the bread bakers. How do we improve the nutritional status of family farms?

If you have additional questions you’d like to ask our experts, tweet @Agrilinks or @farmingfirst using the #AskAg hashtag!

TechnoServe and PanAAC Join the Farming First Coalition

Farming First is pleased to welcome two new supporters, TechnoServe and PanAAC, bring the coalition up to a total of 131 supporter organisations.

TechnoServe is a non-governmental organisation, formed in 1968, that works in poor areas of the developing world, helping to develop entrepreneurs, build businesses and industries and improve the business environment. They focus on helping entrepreneurial men and women in developing countritech2es to capitalize on business opportunities which can transform their lives, generating jobs and markets for their products and services. TechnoServe offers a ‘hand up’ rather than a hand-out, giving poor people the power to transform their own lives.

The organisation works with various public- and private-sector partners, including USAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. In 2007 TechnoServe was rated as one of the world’s top five NGOs for corporate partnerships, and the organisation has also received the Presidential End Hunger Award from USAID.

panaacPanAAC (Pan African Agribusiness & Agro-Industry Consortium) is a not-for-profit organisation that was formed in 2007 to promote sustainable agribusiness in Africa through enhanced productivity and competitiveness at national, regional and global markets. It is a private sector driven platform bringing together agribusiness and agro-industry groups and services to enable them to access information, knowledge, and partnerships.

Public-Private Partnership to Improve Maize Yields in Africa

The Improved Maize for African Soils Project (IMAS) has been set up to improve African farmers’ access to maize varieties that are better adapted at capturing fertilizer. By developing new varieties that are more efficient in nitrogen uptake, the project hopes to develop maize crops that have a 30-50% yield improvement over existing varieties.

Launched recently in February 2010, IMAS is a project led by CIMMYT, a not-for-profit research centre working to improve maize and wheat crops, and is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID. Partners include the DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred, the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) of South Africa and the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), who will all bring their expertise to help address the critical problem of increasing yields in poor soils.

The principal constraints on African maize yields are low soil fertility and low use of chemical fertilizers. Fertilizer use is constrained by high prices of fertilizers, which can be up to five times those in the USA. For the little fertilizer that is used, often no more than half of it is captured by the crop, the rest being leached into the soil and lost.

The new varieties will allow farmers to grow more crops, of better quality, but without having to purchase and use more fertilizer. Those developing the new varieties will be using a range of innovation methods to produce the new IMAS products, the first of which will be available to farmers within the next four years.