A 2015 report by Hystra, a global consulting firm that works with business and social sector pioneers to design and implement inclusive business approaches that are profitable and scalable, says it is important that development organizations identify the right farmers and “over-invest” in their farms through tailored and intensive support.
Working as a cashew farmer in central Cambodia, In Laihout, 40, was uncomfortable with the fact that most of her crop was being exported to Vietnam where it was being processed and then on-sold by traders to bulk buyers at a significant profit.
Because there weren’t many processing centers in her low-income region, farmers like her were selling their cashews for small margins, only to see these foreign traders capitalize on their hard work and lack of local value chains.
But instead of accepting the situation, Laihout decided to start her own cashew collecting and processing business, initially working through a farmers’ association and community processing center in her village in Kampong Thom province, paying local farmers a fair price for their product and processing it herself.
This Sylhet market ecosystem map shows the location of more than 2,360 iDE-powered touchpoints – local business advisors, livestock service providers, agricultural collection points, sales agents, entrepreneurs and latrine producers – all engaging with market actors, communities, and individuals – spread across Sylhet.
The rains didn’t come in November, as they used to. When they did begin in December, here in Zambia’s Copperbelt Province, they didn’t last long.
“The drought has really impacted the farmers,” said Inutu Musialela, 53. “In February, it didn’t rain at all. In March, it did rain, but not until the last week.”
“Most of the crops were planted, like maize and sunflower. The rains started but then they went off. The farmers were hit with that. Their crops didn’t grow.”
Since Inutu began working with iDE in 2012, she says the local climate has changed significantly. As a Farm Business Advisor (FBA), Inutu has taught small scale farmers how to fertilize and protect their crops from pests.
Nowadays she spends just as much time teaching farmers how to become resilient to climate change, telling them to plant early maturing crops that require less water, or that they should plant a greater diversity of crops should some varieties fail.
“Because climate change has hit us now, I encourage them to prepare the land before the rains come.”
“They dig holes, like a basin, to plant their crops inside. These potholes hold water around the roots. There they can grow soybeans, maize, anything.”
Tryness Nsofwa, 57, proudly inspects her field of groundnuts. She uproots a clump of pods from the damp, red earth and is pleased with what she sees. Cracking open a husk to reveal edible fruit inside, Tryness notes the nuts are well formed and plentiful. “It’s looking very nice,” she says of her crop. “I will keep some for my family and I will sell some.”
Farhana Yeasmin, 24, remembers what it was like when her husband was the family’s sole earner. Because he was a day laborer and made little money, they struggled to even pay for basics. And if he couldn’t find work, the family sometimes skipped meals.
Kamala Magar’s day began before dawn. The Nepalese farmer would get up and walk miles in the cold to fetch water for her family. It would take her most of the morning to retrieve just one jar, which she’d use to make breakfast before setting out for more.
By improving access to technical assistance, market information, quality inputs, and new technologies, iDE increases value-chain efficiency and competitiveness to benefit small-scale farmers.
iDE first addresses rural Cambodians concerns about COVID-19, combating misinformation about the vaccine and the spread of the disease, before we talk about the importance of latrines to their village's sanitation.
Our tagline will ensure that everyone we meet knows we see the problem and are confident that our sustainable market approach—and the entrepreneurs all over the world challenging the status quo—can solve it.
Using profit to build a sustainable business that meets people’s needs, social enterprises flourish while doing good.
This health crisis will lead to a hunger crisis unless we ensure working people have the necessary information and supplies to avoid illness, allowing them to earn an income and put food on the table.
Utilizing the ENBAITA networks is a proven and cost effective way to help Nepal agriculture to recover from COVID-19 and to re-invigorate trading and exchange between Nepal and India to support food security in Nepal.
Because FBAs are entrepreneurs who connect urban suppliers and buyers to rural smallholder farmers, they can be a powerful force in a time of crisis.
In the birthplace of coffee, Ethiopian farmers are adopting new practices to enhance a way of life that’s been passed down for generations. With the support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, iDE is working with farmers in Jimma, Ethiopia to practice sustainable coffee production.
Involve the entire family in order to achieve gender equality
Watersheds are crucial to the sustainability of businesses, communities, and ecosystems. In Honduras, we’re working with people all along the watershed to protect water at its source, ensuring it continues flowing for generations to come.
This model economically empowers women as they invest and save money for the future, but also addresses aspects of social empowerment through new relationships and increased agency.
A partnership between American Standard, iDE and RFL Plastics resulted in the SaTo pan: a mass-produced hygienic latrine solution for Bangladesh.
Microentrepreneurs have sold 200,000 toilets in just 18 months. This is a major milestone—for iDE’s WASH team and for our partners, who dedicated two years to lay the foundation for this market system, and then a year and a half to catalyze sales.
Building markets for sanitation always has challenges, but the conditions in Vietnam provide particular barriers. From the top levels of Vietnam’s communist leadership to local government employees, iDE needed to overcome negative perceptions of sales and marketing in order to drive latrine adoption and behavior change.
iDE provides farmers access to improved seeds and training in proven agricultural practices to increase crop yields that enable small-scale households to have food year-round.
iDE is expanding sanitation coverage to everyone in Cambodia through an innovative program that makes toilets attractive and affordable to all people, including the rural poor.
The use of demonstration plots helps convince skeptical farmers that agricultural technology, like drip irrigation, can make a difference in crop yields and boost their incomes.
Part of iDE's Human-Centered Design process is called a Deep Dive, wherein team members gather insights from stakeholders on their current behaviors, needs, and opportunities.
Farm business advisors are change agents who dispense information about best practices in technology, fertilizers, pest management, and post-harvest storage through training sessions and demonstrations, as well as sell direct services, such as crop spraying.
Market-based approaches are new to the sanitation and hygiene sector in Ethiopia. Through pilot and scale-up projects, iDE brings applicable and relevant strategies to build sustainable delivery of these services to Ethiopian households.
Refugees are making new lives with the assistance of agricultural extension agents who provide training, advice, products, and services so that they can build businesses around vegetable production.
Compared to mainstream fertilizers and air-borne applications, Fertilizer Deep Placement produces 40% less chemical runoff and 30% fewer greenhouse gas emissions. It also increases yields, leading to a win-win for the farmer and for the environment.
Mr. Nhai, whose village lies in Tuyen Quang, is a happy recipient of iDE sanitation information. “I wish I had known that it was this cheap to have a clean latrine long ago,” he said with a smile.
Irrigation systems aren't off-the-shelf kinds of purchases. They require proper design, good installation, and operator training. iDE's social enterprise iDEal Tecnologias provides these services to farmers in Nicaragua.
To overcome disasters such as crop disease, iDE works with farmers to diversify their crops and connect to markets, helping them have enough food and money to survive year-round.
In addition to dramatically decreasing the workload of women and girls, Multiple-Use Water Systems provide benefits in health and sanitation, enabling communities to improve their decisions on the allocation of water resources.
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in South Asia and still has large gaps in sanitation coverage. Despite gradual improvements, only about 43 percent of the population has access to toilets, while more than half the population continues to defecate openly.
By using a portfolio approach, iDE demonstrates and delivers effective solutions that meet the goals of multiple partners and stakeholders, such as improved sanitary latrine coverage in populous Bangladesh.
Axial flow pumps, power-tiller operated seeders, and mechanical reapers have the potential to transform farming practices by increasing precision and conserving resources. iDE works with local entrepreneurs who can ensure farmers have access to these machines.
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