Tanager, ACDI/VOCA, and AV Ventures share a mission to improve economic and social conditions for vulnerable populations around the world. Although our organizations have different structures and approaches, collaboration and support for each other is vital for creating a positive impact for project participants and funders. The story of the newly formed Tanzanian NGO NAFAKA Kilimo is a wonderful example of how our organizations can contribute to sector-wide impact through collaboration.
NAFAKA Kilimo’s story began with the Feed the Future Tanzania NAFAKA II Activity – funded by USAID and implemented by ACDI/VOCA from 2016 to 2021. The NAFAKA II Activity worked to develop scalable models for technological innovation in Tanzanian rice and maize supply chains. Benefitting from their experience, staff of the NAFAKA II Activity became experts in the Tanzanian agricultural industry. As the activity began to close, these staff members saw an opportunity to continue their work as a private entity. Through the formation of NAFAKA Kilimo, and with support from the activity’s chief of party, existing staff, and remaining senior team, these thought leaders are leveraging the lessons learned from the implementation of the NAFAKA II Activity.
“Our team, which is made up of former NAFAKA II Activity staff, will continue to work in Tanzania to support smallholder farmers, facilitate connections with private actors in the food value chains, and seek collaboration with development sector partners. Through strategic realignment, collaboration with Tanager’s IGNITE project, and work with other partners, NAFAKA Kilimo hopes to steer the Tanzanian agriculture sector toward more sustainable practices.”– Iddi Kindamba, NAFAKA Kilimo
In June 2021, Tanager welcomed NAFAKA Kilimo into the IGNITE project as a Local Service Provider. IGNITE works with Africa-based institutions to help incorporate gender and nutrition sensitive approaches into their ways of doing business. The addition of NAFAKA Kilimo into the IGNITE project is both an opportunity for NAFAKA Kilimo to improve Africa-based institutional approaches to gender and nutrition and a homecoming for an organization that sprung from an ACDI/VOCA program.
NAFAKA Kilimo’s work is an example of how projects can be leveraged to create lasting impact and how organizations can engage with IGNITE to improve their approaches to gender and nutrition. By working with the IGNITE team, NAFAKA Kilimo’s staff will help Africa-based institutions guide the creation and implementation of a gender and nutrition strategy and address other concerns, such as staffing and staff training.
“I am very pleased that Tanager is partnering with NAFAKA Kilimo to provide gender equity and nutrition-sensitive agriculture technical assistance for agri-businesses in Tanzania. Kudos to the NAFAKA Kilimo team for taking the initiative to form a localized organization! This partnership is an example of the types of connections Tanager fosters to promote in-country expertise and design place-based programs that achieve meaningful sustainable impact.”– Ana Bilik, President, Tanager
Organizations such as NAFAKA Kilimo are essential to help the Tanzanian agriculture sector achieve sustainability and profitability. NAFAKA Kilimo will offer services including research, technology innovation, business development, and capacity strengthening. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, NAFAKA Kilimo staff worked with farmers to provide trainings on digital literacy and inclusion of ICT “dashboards” to automate commodity trades between farmers and millers. NAFAKA Kilimo will also continue to follow USAID and NAFAKA II Activity working COVID-19 protocols, while providing services to their network of clients in local, regional, and national country settings.
“As the CEO of ACDI/VOCA, I am excited to see NAFAKA Kilimo continuing to contribute meaningfully to the Tanzanian agriculture sector beyond the life of the very successful NAFAKA II Activity. From their creation to their work with Tanager’s IGNITE project, NAFAKA Kilimo demonstrates the power of collaboration and the unique strengths of our organization and its affiliates. This is yet another example of how ACDI/VOCA and Tanager make a powerful team.”– CJ Hall, CEO, ACDI/VOCA