By 2050, the world is expected to add 2 billion people. During that time, severe droughts and floods associated with climate change will also become more commonplace. Winrock partners with communities to develop and implement strategies that boost food production and are resilient in the face of a changing climate.
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In Mozambique’s Nacala Corridor, smallholder farmers, particularly women, play a critical role in any efforts to increase production. The USAID Mozambique Feed the Future Resilient Agricultural Markets Activity (RAMA) – Nacala Corridor will facilitate the adoption of good agricultural practices and technology to increase resilience and achieve sustainable increases in agricultural productivity to protect food security. By providing higher quality, demand-driven information and services to businesses, agricultural producers and processors, this project aims to reduce poverty and hunger. It also empowers women — 87 percent of Mozambique’s agricultural labor force — to be decision-makers and drivers of production, landscape management and household nutrition. Through partnerships within the private sector and the government of Mozambique, the project can maximize resources to provide technical assistance and improved technologies through existing networks and stakeholders.
Increasing the productivity and profitability of smallholders in Burma has the potential to substantially improve food security and livelihoods in poor, rural communities. The USAID-funded Value Chains for Rural Development program provides technical assistance to producers, farmer groups, agribusinesses and community organizations in the coffee, soybean and horticulture value chains. The project leverages the expertise of volunteers to improve farmer productivity and market access. By introducing new technologies and techniques, improving access to extension services, stimulating private sector investment and promoting market-based approaches, this program aims to boost production and incomes of 80,000 households.
This program works to accelerate Vietnam’s transition to climate-resilient, low-emissions development by working collaboratively with policymakers, communities, and civil society. The USAID funded Vietnam Forests and Deltas program supports adoption of land use practices that slow, stop, and reverse emissions from deforestation and forest degradation through better land use and economic planning and improved funding that incentivizes sustainable practices. By helping local leaders plan for weather and climate risks, the program also increases the resilience of people, places, and livelihoods in Vietnam’s Red River and Mekong Delta regions.
Northern Ghana has a new ally in its struggle against climate change. The USAID Feed the Future Ghana Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Project (AgNRM) is protecting both food security and the region’s natural resources. It’s doing this in a holistic way: boosting incomes from natural products such as shea nuts; improving food security through household gardens, cook stoves and improved water management; securing land tenure, especially for women; and strengthening environmental stewardship.
Because many Cambodians make their living from farming, logging and other pursuits that can lead to deforestation, the country struggles to protect its forests while maintaining economic growth. The USAID Cambodia Supporting Forests and Biodiversity Project empowers forest communities, government officials at all levels, NGOs, business interests and communities to become champions for sustainable forest management practices that benefit people and the planet. The project has conducted extensive assessments to support wildlife and biodiversity research and has improved planning and management of nearly 900,000 hectares.
Nepal’s economy is dominated by agriculture, yet the country is one of the most food insecure nations in the world. By working with the country’s private sector to improve on-farm production and facilitate market development, this program helps subsistence farmers become commercial agriculture producers and earn more income.
Despite tremendous progress, farmers in Asia continue to grapple with two major challenges: food insecurity and poverty. By accelerating the transfer and adoption of innovative agricultural technologies, this USAID-funded Feed the Future program gives smallholders in South and Southeast Asia the knowledge and resources they need to grow more crops and earn more income.
Bangladesh’s aquaculture industry is growing, but its small-scale shrimp and prawn producers still need help. They lack the resources and the knowledge of international standards to run farms and hatcheries to their full potential. By providing farmers with technical training and access to financial services — and by building the capacity of the trade associations and government agencies they work with — this project aims to boost livelihoods, increase productivity in the shrimp and prawn industries, and improve food quality and safety in Bangladesh.
Crops that spoil or arrive at market in a condition consumers reject are a missed opportunity for the Philippines to reduce its food insecurity and increase the profits of its small farmers. To address that problem, the Philippines Cold Chain Project works to help smallholder farmers and fishermen on the island of Mindanao to produce high-value products consumers want, and to establish the cold chain infrastructure (basically, a refrigerated supply chain) necessary to ensure those goods are fresh and appealing when they arrive at market. The project also seeks to facilitate and encourage production and post-harvest handling practices that reduce losses of perishable food products.
Guinea has plenty of farmable land and water, a large youth population, and three quarters of its labor force employed in agriculture. But despite these advantages, the nation is still one of the poorest in the world. One reason is the lack of opportunity that prevents women and youth from contributing significantly to the economy. Guinea’s Strengthening Market-Led Agricultural Research, Technology and Education (SMARTE) is enhancing the nation’s agricultural strengths by working with these populations, boosting education, promoting agricultural extension and introducing new technologies.
Poverty and food insecurity are inextricably linked in Bangladesh. Particularly vulnerable are women, youth and those in areas of the country most likely to be impacted by climate change. The goal of this program is to improve nutrition and food security through training in entrepreneurship, improved production of high-value foods as well as reliable access to markets and important agricultural inputs.
To meet Sub-Saharan Africa’s food security and economic challenges, the entire agriculture sector must learn new skills and embrace innovative technologies. Effective agriculture education and training providers — ranging from institutions providing formal certificates and diplomas to NGOs, agribusinesses, and cooperatives that directly train farmers — are absolutely essential in this task. Volunteer experts from the U.S. are supporting entities to better prepare students for productive careers and to transfer knowledge and innovations directly to farmers and others in the agriculture sector.
Credibility and practical know-how are at the core of this program connecting U.S.-based volunteer farmers and agricultural experts with Asian universities, government training centers, and individual farmers. Through instruction and hands-on training, thousands of Asian farmers, university professors, youth, and extension agents learn about practices and technologies that can boost agricultural productivity in their countries, as well as farmers’ incomes.
A large percentage of Guineans lack food security and spend a sizable portion of their income on rice. To better meet the needs of its citizens and adapt to the impacts of climate change, Guinea’s agriculture sector must implement new technologies and modern land-management methods. This program focuses on building the capacity of local training and research institutions so that they become effective agents to share knowledge and transform the sector to become more productive and sustainable.
As Georgia’s economy and industries grow, so too do the country’s projected greenhouse gas emissions. This is exacerbated by Georgia’s outdated and inefficient lighting, heating and energy systems. This program works with the national government, municipalities, businesses and others to develop and implement a national low emission development strategy. Among the tools being developed are municipal-level sustainable energy action plans, policies and guidelines that promote cleaner energy use, and the promotion of energy efficiency and green buildings to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and improve its economic competitiveness.
Social and economic factors push many children in Africa and Southern Brazil out of classrooms and into tobacco fields and other forms of child labor. This robs children and entire communities of the chance to forge a better future. Building on the initial successes of the Achieving Reduction of Child Labor in Support of Education (ARISE) project, this follow-on program raises awareness about child labor and helps improve family livelihoods so that children can pursue their education. The program also works with government officials to strengthen and enforce laws preventing child labor.
Heightened awareness of the many ills caused by child labor has led to a global decrease in its incidence. Nevertheless, estimates are that 168 million children worldwide are still engaged in child labor. This program develops the capacity of interested governments to create and implement policies that result in a meaningful reduction of child labor.
No country can reach its full potential when women don’t have equal access to education and economic opportunity. The Feed the Future Bangladesh Women’s Empowerment Activity helps women develop the skills they need to improve agricultural livelihoods, make decisions in their families, and be leaders in their communities. Winrock also engages men and local leaders to support gender equality, a key to achieving food security and sustainable development.
To be effective and long-lasting, solutions to Sub-Saharan Africa’s food security challenges must be homegrown. That belief drives this USAID-funded Feed the Future initiative to develop the capacity of African agriculture professionals, institutions and stakeholders to reduce hunger and poverty. The program seeks agricultural transformation by engaging stakeholders at the continental, regional, country, and local levels to improve the effectiveness of institutions, strengthen the capacity to manage policy change, and promote effective participation of non-state actors.
This project takes a comprehensive approach to help the government of Rwanda and its tea producers eliminate child labor in this key sector of the country’s economy. Besides improving access to formal and vocational education and strengthening the enforcement of existing labor laws, REACH-T raises awareness of child labor’s long-term effects. Building on Rwanda’s policy framework, the project will expand the national response to ensure that tea producers employ good labor practices and the sector is poised for growth with sustainably produced tea.
Pressured by global demand for cocoa and persistent poverty, many cocoa farmers in Ghana rely on child labor. With limited opportunities for education and livelihoods in rural cocoa communities, youth between 15 and 17 years are particularly at risk of engaging in hazardous child labor. This program works with cocoa communities to raise awareness about the dangers of child labor and offers youth promising alternatives, including skills training, job placement in age-appropriate work and educational opportunities.
Millions of Egyptians live below the poverty line and the results are predictably bad, including high rates of illiteracy and infant mortality. In the area of the country known as Upper Egypt — which consists of the Nile River Valley from Cairo south to Lake Nasser — the majority of impoverished people are agricultural laborers, landless farmers and smallholders. This program uses a combination of technical assistance and market-oriented approaches to help these smallholders better serve consumers and increase their incomes.
The hilly city of Ilam in eastern Nepal is known both for its expansive tea production and its environmental consciousness. Those two themes come together in this public-private partnership to establish a new municipal waste management system. The project will establish a partnership between Ilam Municipality and the private sector that fuels commercially driven solid waste management. Funded by the European Union’s Switch Asia program and assisted by Winrock’s technical support, the sustainable solid waste management system includes small and medium-sized businesses that utilize compost for tea and vegetable cultivation and, as a result, create green jobs. Once successfully implemented, this innovate approach will be a model for Nepal’s other municipalities.
In the last 15 years, Indonesia’s palm oil sector has seen an enormous production increase, leading to growth in smallholder incomes and the overall national economy. However, this expansion has threatened the environment by driving high deforestation and peatland degradation rates. This project, a partnership between USAID, Winrock and Perkumpulan Sawit Lestari, aims to strengthen private sector initiatives that address the link between deforestation and the palm oil industry. It works to enhance technical research on policy and regulatory reform, define and address smallholder sustainability needs, and develop a framework for monitoring and reporting progress against deforestation.
The Pasture Project helps farmers become more profitable, resilient and environmentally sound by rebuilding their soils. Focused in the Midwestern United States, this project works directly with farmers to emphasize the powerful positive impact of regularly rotating livestock from one plot of land to another. At the same time, the project builds and strengthens the community of grazing supporters and addresses policy issues that challenge the expansion of smart grazing and livestock management practices. Well-managed livestock can address many critical environmental issues, while also generating additional farm income. They’re also a tool for providing new opportunities for young farmers and the rural communities that rely on their success. The mission is to spread these benefits on over 200,000 acres over the next 10 years.
Budding entrepreneurs in the Mississippi River Delta region often lack resources crucial to business success — a deficit that discourages job creation, stunts economic growth and perpetuates persistent poverty. To address these issues, the Delta I-Fund program, in partnership with the Delta Regional Authority, trains cohorts of entrepreneurs in successful startup practices, connects them with local business mentors and provides them with capital sourced from private investors. Bolstered by knowledge and funding, these businesspeople are better prepared to bring their innovative ideas to life.
Rice is critical to the food security and economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s capital city of Kinshasa. This USAID-funded program aims to improve the local rice supply chain through a variety of steps; these include increasing the productivity of small farmers, improving post-harvest processing and handling of rice and strengthening farmer associations and cooperatives.
Communities that most need healthy and affordable food options often have the fewest choices. The Wallace Center at Winrock International collaborates with vulnerable communities to establish value chains that make nutritious and local food available to everyone. This happens through training, mentoring, peer-to-peer learning opportunities and by fostering collaboration between organizations committed to delivering the benefits of good food to all.
The foundation of Ethiopia’s economy, agriculture can play a substantial role in improving livelihoods and increasing the country’s food security. This project supports the Government of Ethiopia’s efforts to establish important regulatory and policy conditions that improve local and national land governance. A particular focus of the project is allowing itinerant pastoralists to secure community land rights and manage their natural resources. Winrock provides administrative and technical support to Tetra Tech ARD, the prime implementer of USAID’s Land Administration to Nurture Development project.
The palm oil industry has provided economic opportunity to small farmers in the West African nation of Liberia. To build on the progress and benefit even more smallholders, this program works to open up new markets and expand the products that can be made from oil palms. The project also emphasizes the importance of sustainable practices that reduce deforestation and other harmful environmental impacts.
Increased globalization and economic downturns have buffeted rural communities throughout Arkansas. Decisions about how to respond and rebuild a rural community’s economic base often fall to municipal leaders, many of whom lack the staff, knowledge and resources to develop effective economic development strategies. Through group training and one-on-one mentoring, this program helps municipal leaders develop road maps for increased quality of place that attracts families and businesses and creates sustainable economies.
Delighting consumers isn’t the only key to the success of regional and local food hubs; farmers also have to follow the USDA’s food safety regulations. Technology offers the possibility of an effective, efficient and hassle-free way to ensure compliance. The Wallace Center at Winrock International is working with growers, USDA and technology company FoodLogiQ to pilot and test an information technology solution that will streamline regulatory compliance and solidify consumer confidence in the safety of local and regional food.
As an important aide to Dr. Norman Borlaug, the father of the Green Revolution, Christopher Dowswell played a critical role in helping hundreds of millions of people achieve food security. One key to the Green Revolution’s success was education. Appropriately, this scholarship fund supports the training and education of primarily female agricultural extension workers. Not only can these workers train farmers to increase their production and incomes, they also become important role models to encourage more African women to pursue leadership positions in agriculture.
In rural Kenya, solar water pumps (SWPs) can help smallholder farmers save on fuel costs, increase acreage, and grow more than one crop a year. However, many farmers don’t know about these benefits or lack credit options to purchase their own SWPs. The USAID-funded Kenya Smallholder Solar Irrigation project (KSSI) works to accelerate commercial sales of SWPs to small farmers through demonstrations, product assessments, and technical assistance to SWP retailers and financial institutions.
Pay for performance (or P4P) isn’t just a way to incentivize sales professionals. Winrock has spearheaded approaches that financially reward farmers for reducing the amount of phosphorous that makes its way into rivers and lakes. Though phosphorous in fertilizer and manure helps crops grow, its runoff from fields also creates harmful dead zones and causes algae blooms in waterways. P4P lets farmers decide the best ways to limit water pollution.
The Wallace Center supports entrepreneurs and communities as they build a new, 21st century food system that is healthier for people, the environment and the economy. The demand for locally produced food is strong, growing and often outstrips the ability of small farmers to keep up. Through research, education and technical assistance, The Wallace Center at Winrock International helps groups of local producers (known as food hubs) work together to reach and serve large and sustainable markets.
As part of USAID’s Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally program, Winrock is working to improve the nutrition and health of women and children in Guinea. In particular, project activities will focus on improving the diets of young children and pregnant and lactating women. By conducting research into obstacles preventing proper maternal nutrition, infant feeding and agricultural practices and by working with community members and groups, Winrock will help ensure women and children have steady access to the food they need to thrive.
Small farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa are better able to achieve food security and earn a sufficient livelihood when they receive assistance from the continent’s agricultural colleges and universities. This program helps bolster the ranks of agricultural experts by introducing new opportunities for mid-career professionals to participate in extension education and degree programs at African universities.
Smallholders produce around 40 percent of Indonesia’s palm oil, an amount that is expected to increase due to the lack of land suitable for new large-scale plantations. However, a lack of resources and technical capacity often leads to extremely low productivity and unsustainable management at small plantations. With funding from IDH, Cargill and Costco, this project will create a protocol that provides step-by-step guidance to smallholders and tengkulak (middle men) about how to identify and manage peatland areas in existing plantations and around new plantings. It will also supply instruction about management methods to restore areas not suitable for replanting. By working with farmers to apply this protocol, the result will be increased sustainability and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Tanzania has relatively abundant water resources, although population growth and poor management has made shortages increasingly common. The goal of this project is to use market-driven approaches to support sustainable access to water, particularly in poor and rural areas. Part of the solution is to increase the number and effectiveness of entrepreneurs engaged in water supply, sanitation and hygiene activities in remote villages. Also important is the implementation of a multiple-use water services (MUS) approach that bases planning and financing strategies around a community’s many domestic and commercial water needs.
The local food movement is improving the health, economies and environment of communities around the country. But for the benefits of healthy and sustainably grown food to reach more Americans, changes throughout the food chain are required. The Wallace Center’s National Good Food Network helps build regional food hubs that allow all participants in the supply chain to share the knowledge and resources necessary to meet the burgeoning demand for local food.
Asia’s forests are a critical economic and environmental resource for its people. Yet logging, farming and other human activities are accelerating deforestation at an alarming rate. This USAID-funded program developed a regional approach that promotes sustainable land use and establishes financial incentives for preserving critical forestland.
Encouraging private enterprise in Liberia’s agriculture sector is critical if the country is to lower its high rates of unemployment and poverty. Progress will require extensive changes — everything from bolstering the country’s road infrastructure and weak institutions to promoting the importance of women and youth in agriculture. As a partner on this USAID-funded program, Winrock provides technical assistance to help increase farmer productivity and profitability.
Years of agricultural run-off have deposited large amounts of phosphorous-laden fertilizer into Ontario, Canada’s Lake Simcoe. Though fertilizer can help boost crop production, its presence in rivers and lakes harms water quality. This program aids the Ontario government’s efforts to improve Lake Simcoe’s health by creating and developing incentives that encourage farmers to reduce the amount of phosphorous that makes its way into waterways.
Consumer demand for sustainably grown local food is an unprecedented opportunity for family farmers. To take full advantage of the opportunity, small farmers are increasingly working with food hubs — enterprises that utilize cooperative aggregation, distribution and marketing strategies. The Wallace Center at Winrock International works to develop and strengthen food hubs that help small farmers gain entry into large markets they could never access on their own and build a strong culture of food safety.
The need for affordable and healthy food is especially acute in Mississippi, a state that routinely leads the nation in obesity and poverty rates. The Wallace Center at Winrock International collaborates with communities, farmers, wholesale distributors and others to build local food value chains that will make healthy and fresh food readily available in the state’s schools, hospitals and stores.
The cultivation of coconuts, especially for use in coconut oil, has been an important source of income for Indonesia’s small farmers. Yet a host of factors — including a failure to replace old trees with new seedlings and a lack of effective pest management — has led to reduced production in the country’s South Minahasa Regency. By distributing high-quality seedlings and training smallholders in effective agricultural techniques, this program seeks to lift the production and incomes of farmers in the region.
The availability of fresh and healthy local food often depends on the success of farmers markets. For markets to reach their potential individual vendors and market organizers need training and financial resources to boost sales and awareness. This program provides new and emerging farmers markets in Arkansas with instruction on topics ranging from fundraising to marketing and promotion to vendor recruitment and retention.
There is a measurable impact on greenhouse gas emissions when forests are cut down and replaced with plantations. As a contributor to the High Carbon Stock Study, a sustainability initiative launched by growers, traders and other stakeholders in the palm oil industry, Winrock reviews existing tools and equations used to measure the impact of turning forests into palm oil plantations.
American consumers increasingly recognize that locally grown food is not only fresh and delicious, but also provides communities important environmental and economic benefits. The Wallace Center at Winrock International is collaborating with farmers, wholesalers, distributors and other partners in Maryland to meet the state’s burgeoning demand for local food through food hubs. By delivering collective marketing, packaging, product aggregation and other activities, food hubs improve the financial viability of producers and increase the availability of nutritious food.
The demand for palm oil has provided vital economic opportunities to many Indonesians. At the same time, the conversion of forests and drainage of peatland to create palm oil plantations is a leading source of Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions. Winrock has designed two scalable and replicable pilot projects that demonstrate the feasibility of improving the management of peatland areas currently devoted to palm oil production — an approach that would reduce emissions while increasing long-term sustainability.
Overcrowded classrooms, low pay and limited professional development makes it hard to be a teacher in Malawi. And low teacher morale makes it tough for children to get a quality education. Japan Tobacco International, which sources much of its tobacco in Malawi and funds the ARISE pilot program there, is providing training and resources to teachers in three rural areas of the country where ARISE is active. This support for teachers helps improve the quality of education and contributes to lower levels of child labor.
Crops that spoil or arrive at market in a condition consumers reject are a missed opportunity for Bangladesh to reduce its food insecurity and increase the profits of its small farmers. To address that problem, the Cold Chain Bangladesh Alliance is helping small farmers produce high-value products local consumers want and to establish the cold chain infrastructure (basically, a refrigerated supply chain) necessary to deliver those goods to market.
Increasing awareness that local food is nutritious and good for both the environment and the economy has propelled the growth of regional food economies. In order to encourage more investment in regional food systems and sustainable agriculture, it’s important to showcase the benefits to local economies and communities. This program seeks to build awareness by assisting The Wallace Center at Winrock International in expanding the reach of its National Good Food Network by developing a regional food economies working group and fellows program, and by supporting a national communications strategy that underscores the economic benefits of fostering local food systems.
“Through a voluntary rice protocol developed by [Winrock International’s American Carbon Registry], rice growers in the Sacramento Valley of California…
By Gabriel Sidman, Winrock Spatial Analyst As an intense sun beat down on northern Ghana, a barefoot child scooped drinking water…
By Chadani Pandey Twenty years ago, when Ram Bahadur Gurung was visiting China as an aide-de-camp to then Nepalese Crown…
Small and mid-size farms have their hands full. Not only do they have to build an infrastructure to support production…
A new Bloomberg article features American Carbon Registry‘s work to reduce emissions from rice production. According to the article, Nature’s Stewards,…