Category: IFDC Perspectives

Better Seeds for a Billion Lives

The year is 1945. In Mexico, stem rust has ravaged wheat harvests. The farmers are appalled that a U.S. scientist is performing research on the very same crop that had nearly destroyed their livelihoods. And yet he persists, winning their commitment and developing high-yielding, stem rust-resistant breeds of wheat. By 1963 these seeds effectively eliminated stem rust and increased Mexico’s…

2SCALE Men and Women

#HeForShe: 2SCALE and AgriProFocus Recognize Men Who Empower Women

Fewer than 5 percent of women in Mali own land, while more than 30 percent act as heads of household and are responsible for providing food, healthcare, and school fees. In response to women’s social vulnerability, particularly in the Ségou region of Mali, IFDC’s Toward Sustainable Clusters in Agribusiness through Learning in Entrepreneurship (2SCALE) project prioritizes helping women producers and entrepreneurs…

youth at a learning center in Nigeria

Woman-Led Field School Reaches African Youth

In a small greenhouse in Nigeria, young agricultural entrepreneurs from all over the country gather around an unlikely teacher to learn about vegetable production and farm management. Yinka Adesola, though trained at the master’s level in geology, is committed to solving Nigeria’s food security issues by empowering the next generation with the tools and knowledge to grow and sell more…

agrodealer speaking with farmers

Africa Policy Outlook: Assessing Government Programs to Increase Fertilizer Use

By: Joshua Ariga, IFDC Senior Economist & Acting Program Leader, Markets, Economics and Policy The use of improved input technologies, particularly fertilizers, remains low in much of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) despite spirited efforts at continental, regional, and country levels (Figure 1). However, pockets exist where some progress has been achieved, and fertilizer use rates and agricultural productivity have increased significantly. It…

Innovations Liberate Women Farmers

With a potential income of $1300 per hectare (ha), achievable over a production cycle of 10 to 14 months, pineapple production provides a profitable opportunity for thousands of Beninese small-scale producers, especially those who, like Sylvie Affon-Amonmi, provide fresh pineapple at Promo Fruits, leader of the natural juice industry in Benin and partner of IFDC’s 2SCALE project. Sylvie manages a…

2016 Highlights

  Season’s greetings! In 2016, IFDC had the pleasure of working with smallholder farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs across more than 20 nations. As the year comes to a close, we reflect on our mission and on the stories of agriculturalists who are feeding their families and the world. To recap the year, we are sharing our top five blog posts…

Sustainable Use of Fertilizers for Productivity and Climate Change Mitigation

By: Dr. Deborah Hellums, Director of Fertilizer Research Every person alive depends on agriculture for food, but agriculture accounts for 12 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions. About half of these emissions come from arguably a most necessary component of agriculture: the use of nitrogen fertilizers. Mineral fertilizers, combined with organic fertilizers (along with other inputs and best management practices),…

Fertilizer Producer in Myanmar Focuses on Farmers

Daw Kyin Than Oo operates a fertilizer business in the Yangon region of Myanmar. Her husband U Ko Gyi passed away recently, and she was left to raise her four children on her own. Thankfully, they have helped her maintain the family business. The elder son supervises production with two family laborers, while her two daughters work in the company. Her other son is still…

Model Farmer Hosts Competition for 12 Others

Most farmers believe that the solution to increasing yields is expanding the area of cultivation, and, as a result, plowing many acres of land. But these beliefs are changing. The farmer model competition, an initiative championed by Michael Asutami, a seed producer, is correcting such erroneous beliefs by teaching farmers the need to focus on improved farming practices such as…

Feed the Future Nigeria Agro-Inputs Project Facilitates Smallholder Farmers’ Access to Finance

In partnership with Fortis Microfinance Bank (a microfinance institution supported by the USAID Development Credit Authority), the Feed the Future Nigeria Agro-Inputs Project made it possible for smallholder farmers to purchase all the necessary agro-inputs, such as fertilizers, seeds, and agro-chemicals, for their farming activities during the year. In April 2016, the project executed a fully signed relationship with two microfinance…