Value Chain Approach Will Support Agriculture-led Growth by Smallholder Farmers
The ACDI/VOCA Support for Food Security Activities team recently launched a $24 million United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project in Zambia to increase food security and decrease poverty. The program targets smallholder farmers and will increase farming productivity and facilitate inclusive access to markets, providing a pathway out of poverty.
The Production, Finance and Improved Technology Plus (PROFIT+) program will foster economic growth, significantly contributing to Millennium Development Goal one: halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty and suffering from hunger by 2015. PROFIT+ will be a core activity of President Obama's Feed the Future (FTF) global hunger and food security initiative in Zambia.
“Helping smallholder farmers produce and sell more is vital for promoting food security and lifting Zambia out of poverty,” said Liz McGuinness, senior director at ACDI/VOCA.
30 Percent Increase in Productivity and Income
PROFIT+ will build on previous USAID-supported activities by closely linking efforts to enhance input supply with output markets and ensuring that women and vulnerable groups fully benefit from value chain development. The program will foster innovations and public-private partnerships to bring smallholders out of poverty.
PROFIT+ expects to achieve a 30 percent increase in productivity and income from selected value chains, benefit 200,000 smallholder farmers and increase the value of agricultural sales by $125 million, in particular for value-added processing.
Zambia Program Calls for Localization
Despite Zambia’s recent economic growth, poverty and malnutrition remain rampant, particularly in rural areas. Access to finance, especially for smallholders, is limited, greatly inhibiting growth. The typical smallholder farms less than 3 hectares.
The PROFIT + program will increase smallholders’ competitiveness, promote private enterprise development and investment, working in partnership with local Zambian firms and actors throughout the projects. The program will build local capacity for long-lasting results. National Zambian staff will take full ownership of the project by the middle of the third year.
Drawing on its nearly 50 years of agricultural experience in Africa, ACDI/VOCA will lead program management, value chain analysis, market and trade expansion and financial services activities. A number of organizations will also contribute:
- International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) will help develop commercial agricultural input systems
- Catholic Relief Services (CRS) will lead value-added processing and HIV/AIDS integration activities
- Danya International will provide strategic communications to increase behavior change and facilitate learning
- Kimetrica will anchor monitoring and evaluation
- Crown Agents USA will provide technical support for trade development
- Associates for International Resources and Development (AIRD) will assess the business enabling environment
ACDI/VOCA, a pioneer in the value chain approach, has substantial experience facilitating change in market systems worldwide through demand-driven, participatory and systematic approaches.
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