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World Food Prize 2012: USAID Launches Progress Report on Feed the Future
The progress report highlights how Feed the Future is already making a difference in people’s lives in low-income countries. The scorecard, on the other hand, tracks how the U.S government is changing its development and engagement process to more effectively meet its development goals. According to the report, so far Feed the Future has helped 1.8 million food producers adopt improved technologies or management practices that can lead to more resilient crops, higher yields, and increased incomes. Additionally, the initiative has also reached nearly 9 million children through nutrition programs, which can prevent and treat undernutrition and improve child survival.
In his address at the World Food Prize ceremony, Shah said, “We have built some remarkable momentum since President Obama helped rally the world behind the need to dramatically reinvest in agriculture at the 2009 G-8 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy. Through the president’s Feed the Future initiative, we are tackling the persistent problem of chronic hunger and malnutrition around the world.” He added, “Already delivering meaningful results, this presidential initiative brings together the private sector, NGOs, women’s cooperatives, and local communities to support groundbreaking approaches to advance global food security.”
Partnering with the Private Sector to Change Lives
Under Feed the Future, the U.S. government will continue to support Solutions for African Food Enterprises, an alliance with the nonprofit Partners in Food Solutions that links the technical and business expertise of volunteer employees at three private companies (General Mills, Cargill, and DSM) with small- and medium-sized mills and food processors in the developing world. Over the next five years, USAID, Partners in Food Solutions, and implementing partner TechnoServe will work together to help African food processors improve their ability to produce high-quality, nutritious, and safe food at affordable prices.
Shah also announced that USAID’s Development Credit Authority will support two new lending facilities to help smallholder farmer organizations in Africa. In one, USAID will partially back private loans made to smallholder farmer organizations, including those with contracts from the World Food Programme-Purchase for Progress initiative. This means that qualifying smallholder farmer organizations can use their forward delivery and direct contracts to obtain private local financing.
In addition to these existing initiatives, USAID will also support a new lending facility for Root Capital, a nonprofit social investment fund, to make loans to small and growing agricultural businesses that are improving food security and nutrition. The credit enhancement will allow Root Capital, operating throughout Africa, to disburse more than $50 million in loans, reaching more than 1 million small-scale farmers, over the next five years. The loans will be targeted to small agribusinesses to help improve yields, reduce post-harvest losses, and process nutritious foods for local markets.
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