Recent events have affirmed ACDI/VOCA’s long-standing role in mitigating disruptions of the food supply and building capacity of farming communities to withstand future food crises.
However, the entrenched global food crisis compels further stepped-up, sustained and comprehensive responses balanced between near- and longer-term actions. ACDI/VOCA’s holistic approach integrates market-oriented humanitarian assistance and household food security interventions with sustainable staple food production and trade facilitation.
With respect to food aid, our tools range from efficient commodity management to direct distribution of rations, including food that is locally and regionally purchased, and from cash-for-work programs to market-sensitive monetization with the proceeds applied to long-term development.
With respect to agricultural development, our experience organizing producer groups and building smallholder farmer capacity, and our comprehensive value chain approaches to food sector development with attendant poverty reduction have never been more relevant.
We conduct market analysis, help reform agricultural policy, improve both staple and cash crop productivity, organize farmers for collective action, promote farming as a business to enhance competitiveness, improve access to credit, link farmers to markets, implement competitive grants programs that empower local organizations and communities, and build public-private agribusiness partnerships.
Our approach also includes
- Informing funders and other key audiences about the food crisis and encouraging them to dedicate sufficient and well-targeted resources to its alleviation, particularly through long-term agricultural development.
- Building awareness of response options by collating and synthesizing ACDI/VOCA’s experiences.
- Targeting the most chronically vulnerable populations while looking for opportunities to apply broader ACDI/VOCA programming strengths toward sustainable development.
- Including an emphasis on health and nutrition as a part of overall food security.
- Emphasizing financial institution strengthening by developing innovative lending products for agricultural stakeholders, building local risk assessment and management skills, and promoting methodologies to significantly increase access to financial services through financial institutions, input suppliers or other market actors.
- Promoting financial and business support services that lead to increased productivity and quality of food and improved village and farm-level storage to reduce losses.
- Targeting women in development projects, as women have a demonstrably higher return on food security investment at the household level.
- Attempting to trigger "virtuous cycles" of asset accumulation and expanded opportunities for income, health and nutrition.
- Providing for climate change mitigation and adaptation in relevant agricultural and food security programming.
- Helping farmer organizations meet quality and quantity standards to improve their market position.
- Using ICT to reach farmers with timely information and market linkages.