New project builds on IFDC and partners’ work to empower African farmers

IFDC Press Release
For Immediate Release
Monday, December 10, 2018

Contact: Andy Thigpen (256-381-6600, ext. 299;; @IFDCNews)

December 10, 2018 – Muscle Shoals, Ala., United States – The International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) announces a new $56.8 million grant from the Dutch government to improve the lives of farmers and strengthens small businesses in eight African nations.

IFDC’s President and CEO, Patrick Murphy, said, “This five-year grant will be matched by African and Dutch companies scaling up business with small farmers, farm suppliers and private enterprises serving agricultural and food industries in these countries, bringing the total economic investment of the project to $120 million.”

The grant builds on the 2SCALE project, which facilitates the formation of public-private partnerships, offers business support services, trains farmers in eco-efficient agronomic practices, and assists farmers to bring their larger and more nutritious harvests to food processors and markets in nearby towns and cities.

The follow-on of the 2SCALE project will develop a portfolio of 60 public-private partnerships with the ambitious goal of reaching 750,000 smallholder farmers and 5,000 private businesses. With a focus on inclusivity, project activities will specifically target women- and youth-led farms and businesses.

In addition to being one of IFDC’s many successful projects, the follow-on will make 2SCALE the largest project in the organization’s history. For IFDC employees in the Shoals, that means job security and an opportunity to help people in other parts of the world.

“Through IFDC, the Shoals area has a long legacy of contributing to global food security,” Murphy said. “The work we do from Muscle Shoals is vital to so many farmers and businesses across the world, and we have an incredible staff of scientists, economists, engineers and administrators who love the work they do – helping farmers grow and sell more food.”

Key 2SCALE achievements since 2012 include the following:

  • More than 615,000 smallholder farmers (of which, 40 percent are women) have benefited from project interventions, which include training on agricultural practices, access to better inputs (e.g., fertilizers, seed) and increased negotiation skills.
  • 53 public-private partnerships were established and developed across nine nations.
  • Approximately 4,100 small businesses and farmer producer organizations were supported to participate in inclusive value chains and to develop innovative business strategies.
  • 28 activities helped businesses develop markets and distribute affordable, nutritious food products to consumers with limited access.
  • $69.4 million in private investments were leveraged.

The continuation of 2SCALE will be implemented by an IFDC-led partnership, which also includes Base-of-the-Pyramid Innovation Center (BoP Inc) and the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), both located in The Netherlands. The project will be active in eight African nations: Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria. Project activities will begin in January 2019 and run through 2023.


The International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) began in 1974 with the mission to improve soil fertility and crop nutrition in tropical regions. Since then, IFDC has grown to encompass an array of agricultural solutions — from market development to policy advocacy, fertilizer technology development to project implementation in the field, and farmer mechanization to micronutrient research. For more information, visit