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.
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.”
While both men and women in the lowlands of Ethiopia have increased their engagement in local markets, they often lack access, agency, and commercial scale.
Pastoralist communities can no longer rely on traditional livestock and agriculture for high-quality, nutritious food production and consistent income generation.
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.
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.
To build Nepalese farmers’ resilience, iDE engages in what we’ve termed the “Commercial Pocket Approach.”
The Eblings joined iDE and 11 other guests on a trip to Nepal and Bhutan where they saw how their support has enabled iDE to deliver transformative programming in Nepal.
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.
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.
What if one million farmers could grow more food with less water?
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.
iDE has been building markets for over 30 years. One thing we know for sure is that every market is different. Replication of what works in one context is not a guarantee of success in another. We replicate our approach, but each context dictates a unique solution.
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