Month: June 2016

Partnership Brings New Technology to Smallholder Farmers in Ghana

The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Soybean Value Chain Research (Soybean Innovation Lab, SIL) in partnership with the Feed the Future USAID Agriculture Technology Transfer (ATT) project and the Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement (ADVANCE) project will fund an 8-day training to teach local blacksmiths how to fabricate small-scale crop threshers for use in Northern Ghana.

Fertilizer: The Basics

In our previous blog, Fertilizer – A Foundation for Food Security, we discussed the history of fertilizer, from its origins to its modern uses in combating crises of food security. Today, fertilizer is a globally distributed commodity in high demand. It is as important to the smallholder farmers’ business as the seeds they plant or the tools they use for…

Women and Wages

ESOP is an agricultural cooperative in Lalo, Benin, that purchases rice from small-scale producer groups for grading, packaging, and resale. The key step is hand-sorting to select the best grains for premium markets. Sorting is done mostly by women at very low wages. To address this problem, the 2SCALE team in Benin first examined costs and margins to understand whether ESOP…

Fertilizer – A Foundation for Food Security

The history of the modern world, from the period of industrialization on, has been characterized by a rapidly growing population and the struggle to accelerate food production to sustain that population. This struggle has manifested itself, repeatedly, in tragic episodes of human suffering centered on food and nutrition. The Great Famine in Ireland, the Indian Famine of 1899, and various…

“Mini” West Africa Fertilizer Stakeholder Forums

In fulfillment of its strategic objective to increase regional availability and use of appropriate and affordable fertilizers for increased agricultural productivity in West Africa, the USAID-funded West Africa Fertilizer Program (USAID WAFP) regularly organizes regional fertilizer stakeholder forums to address key challenges facing the fertilizer sub-sector in West Africa in areas of supply and distribution, policy and regulatory reforms, appropriate…

Potatoes for Profit

Agrico, a global leader in potato breeding, has developed a range of varieties for different uses, all suited to tropical conditions. 2SCALE clusters are growing eight new high-yielding Agrico varieties, multiplied in the country from seed potatoes imported from the Netherlands. This season, farmers planted more than 300,000 kilograms of Agrico seed potatoes and sold the harvest for higher prices.…

Better Nutrition in Benin

Kangkong, also known as water spinach or swamp cabbage, is popular in Asia but previously unknown in Benin. 2SCALE introduced the crop in a pilot program that began in 2013 and has grown steadily. Fresh vegetables are too expensive for most low-income families in Benin. The pilot program, in partnership with East West Seed, brought in high-quality seeds for field trials…

Open Sesame!

Farm-gate prices of sesame in Mali have increased six-fold in the past seven years, fueled by export demand. Yet, production is not growing quickly enough, and Malian processors and exporters are unable to source sufficient quantities. “Europe and especially China have millions of new middle-class consumers for whom sesame oil is no longer a luxury, but a daily norm,” explains…

Business Connections

A 2SCALE business conference in The Hague has opened the door to new business deals between food processors, importers, equipment manufacturers, and banks. The conference, Food for Thought: Made in Africa, for Africa, was held in October 2015. It featured presentations by the CEOs of seven 2SCALE partner firms: AACE Foods and Psaltry (both from Nigeria), Promo Fruits (Benin), GUTS Agro…