Category: IFDC Perspectives

World Food Day: Eyes On Burundi

This World Food Day, our eyes are on Burundi. Read our interactive story to learn more about how farmers in Burundi are building resilience by growing and selling more food for better prices.

IFDC Evaluates Portable Soil Health Kits

Smallholder farmers, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, often lack access to soil testing laboratories to determine their soil’s fertility and the nutrients required to increase crop productivity. This causes farmers to apply fertilizer that may not meet their soil’s needs. One solution is the use of mobile soil testing kits that are inexpensive and easy to use.…

Achieving a Last-Mile Milestone: The ATT Seed Van Initiative

Most smallholder farmers in northern Ghana lack access to high-quality certified seed. They often use seed that they save from one season to the next. With saved seeds, these farmers barely produce enough to feed their household year-round. However, since the Feed the Future Ghana Agriculture Technology Transfer (ATT) project began in 2013, the situation has started to improve. To ensure that certified seeds get to rural farmers, ATT implemented the Seed Van Initiative. “Through our small grant support program, we provided 22 vans to seed producers that travel to hard-to-reach communities – at the last…

Dairy Insights Shape 2SCALE Focus

Kenya’s dairy sector is the biggest in the region, accounting for 10% of national agricultural GDP. The sector is dominated by small-scale farmers supplying to a few large dairy processors. An industry review, completed earlier this year, helped identify a niche for IFDC’s Toward Sustainable Clusters in Agribusiness through Learning in Entrepreneurship (2SCALE) project, where we could focus our efforts…

Farmers’ Wallets Grow with Electronic Banking

A fat wallet is good; a fat electronic wallet is even better. Dutch financial services firm Dodore is partnering with IFDC’s Toward Sustainable Clusters in Agribusiness through Learning in Entrepreneurship (2SCALE) project to roll out the Agri-wallet, a mobile-phone-based platform that allows farmers to save in small installments, in order to buy seeds, fertilizers, and other inputs for the next…

Blended Fertilizers – Baraka is Better

Conventional fertilizers provide plants with three main nutrients, nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus; but soils are often deficient in secondary or micronutrients such as zinc or boron. In partnership with fertilizer manufacturer Toyota Tsusho, IFDC’s Toward Sustainable Clusters in Agribusiness through Learning in Entrepreneurship (2SCALE) project helped introduce a new blended fertilizer for rice in Kenya. Baraka (Swahili for “blessing”) contains…

2SCALE Partners Strengthen Inclusive Business

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can be a force for change, provided CSR programs are well designed and targeted at specific outcomes. A new partnership with Sustainable Inclusive Business Kenya (SIB-Kenya), a Dutch-funded knowledge center, is exploring ways in which private sector partners of IFDC’s 2SCALE project can strengthen their CSR activities to improve welfare at the community level (e.g., labor…

2018 IFDC Staff Awards

On September 20, 2018, following the organization’s 44th Annual Board of Directors’ Meeting, IFDC presented three staff members with awards for their outstanding work. Please join us in congratulating this year’s winners of the IFDC staff awards. The commitment, dedication, and talent of these three individuals is an inspiration to us all, and we thank them for their outstanding service.  …

Building Trust Between Farmers and Bankers

Credit requires trust – but a survey by the World Bank reveals that only a quarter of Nigerian smallholder farmers “fully trust” banks. These producers have even lower levels of trust in microfinance institutions (MFIs) because rates and withdrawal fees are perceived as prohibitively expensive, or because farmers do not want to risk losing their collateral. It’s also well established…

2SCALE: Big Business in Ethiopia

2SCALE is an incubator program implemented by IFDC and the BoP Innovation Center (BoPInc) with funding from the Netherlands Directorate General for International Cooperation (DGIS) and private sector stakeholders. The program manages a portfolio of public-private partnerships (PPPs) for inclusive business in agri-food sectors and industries. 2SCALE offers a range of support services to its business champions (SMEs and farmer groups) and…

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