Five Ways Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation’s Partners Are Ending Hunger
Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation works with private and public sector partners to commercialize agricultural innovations in smallholder markets. For this year's Feed the Future Week, we're highlighting five ways that our partners are ending hunger around the world.
1. Commercializing agricultural technologies for smallholder farmers
The CoolBot, a device that creates a cold storage room by lowering and regulating the temperature of an insulated room cooled by a standard window air conditioning unit, was invented by a farmer in upstate New York and originally used by small scale farmers in the United States. Now, US-based Store It Cold is commercializing the CoolBot in Honduras, where a typical refrigeration unit can cost as much as $30,000—too expensive for most associations and cooperatives that buy directly from smallholder farmers. The CoolBot costs ten times less than this, providing for the first time a refrigeration option that will help increase incomes for thousands of smallholder farmers. Watch Store It Cold talk about bringing their business to Honduras.
2. Finding sustainable commercial solutions to nutritional challenges
EthioChicken is commercializing improved chicken breeds and expanding its network of sales agents to reach more farmers in rural areas, where few people have access to protein sources. The improved poultry breeds grow 150 percent larger in the first three months and produce four times as many eggs as local breeds. By expanding its agent network in rural areas, EthioChicken is not only increasing its customer base but is getting an affordable, reliable source of protein to families that need it. In the first 15 months of the partnership, EthioChicken has distributed more than 2.2 million day-old chicks, impacting 450,000 rural households. Learn more on the AgTechXChange.
3. Ensuring that smallholder farmers maintain access to markets
Farmforce is a traceability and farm management software designed for aggregators and exporters that source from smallholder farmers. Farmforce protects smallholder farmers’ access to key export markets. For example, forthcoming compliance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act, which requires full electronic traceability for all produce coming into the US, could threaten Guatemalan smallholder farmer access to the United States’ $280 million snow pea import market. With Farmforce, though, thousands of Guatemalan farmers will continue to be eligible to export their goods. Watch this TED-style talk to learn more about how Farmforce is benefitting farmers in Guatemala.
4. Increasing employment opportunities for youth in agriculture
Mercy Corps is working with Guatemalan exporter Fair Fruit to organize youth savings and loan groups in Guatemala’s Western Highlands. With limited education and employment opportunities at home, many youth in Guatemala seek to migrate. Lack of access to credit further constrains entrepreneurship and income generation among youth. Through this partnership, more than 1,000 youth will gain access to financial tools and training that will allow them to invest in agricultural entrepreneurship, providing a local source of income and employment.
5. Creating markets for value-added products
Universal Industries, a leading snack and beverage producer in Malawi, is developing the market for orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. Universal is commercially launching several sweet potato-based products to market and is building a sustainable supply chain by providing technical assistance, improved vines, and a formal market to 8,000 sweet potato farmers. Sweet potato farmers benefit from higher prices as well as the stable income that comes from selling in large quantities. Substituting orange-fleshed sweet potato for imported, less nutritious ingredients also improves nutrition and supports the local economy. Watch Universal’s Jean Pankuku talk about the importance of developing a market for orange-fleshed sweet potatoes in Malawi.