Production, Finance, and Improved Technology Plus (PROFIT+)
In June 2012, ACDI/VOCA’s Support for Food Security Activities team launched a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project in Zambia to increase food security and decrease poverty. The program targeted market-system solutions to create opportunities for farmers and agribusinesses to increase agricultural productivity and access high-value markets, while facilitating private-sector investment in target value chains. One critical element of the project was the formation and training of 200 Community Agro-dealers (CADs) who established the initial links between service providers and smallholder farmers in rural communities.
- Improve smallholder productivity
- Greater access to markets and trade
- Increased private sector investment in agriculture
PROFIT+ was a core activity of President Obama’s Feed the Future (FTF) global hunger and food security initiative in Zambia.
Activities and Approaches
- Closely linked efforts and emerging trends in policy and agribusiness sector with specific innovations on the ground while ensuring, women and vulnerable groups also benefit from value chain development.
- Partnered with government and other development stakeholders to assist small-scale processors, farmers’ associations, and smallholders (including vulnerable groups) through the provision of technical assistance that enabled them to increase their productivity through the application of new technologies.
- Leveraged an estimated $50 million in new private-sector investment in maize, soybean, groundnut, sunflower, onion, and tomato value chains.
- Implemented a $7.1-million Innovation, Investment, and Partnership (IIP) Fund for local and private-sector partners to build their capacity to deliver services well beyond the life of the program.
Anticipated and Achieved Results
- Trained 324 CADs, exceeding the 200 originally planned to be trained, on how to reconnoiter business opportunities, build employability skills, develop sound business plans, register their businesses, and become effective community marketing facilitators.
- Linked 1,404 farmers through eight CADs to Cross Border Network Africa (CBNA) for an onion operation in Lundazi (for export and domestic sale).
- Facilitated the signing of forward contracts between 104 (32 female) CADs and six cooperatives for the purchase of maize, soybeans, and groundnuts during the 2016 crop marketing season.
- Awarded over 1,317 in-kind grants and invested $2.02 million of the project’s grant fund in farmers, associations, and agribusinesses.
- Supported 193 (68 females) CADs in opening bank accounts for their businesses and 176 (61 females) in establishing agro shops. As a result, 234 (94 females) have been linked to 10 input suppliers in the 2016 season and stocked with various inputs worth over ZMW 3,350,000.