Using profit to build a sustainable business that meets people’s needs, social enterprises flourish while doing good.
How iDE is helping smallholder farmers increase their resilience following both Cyclone Idai and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mariana now has a business connecting farms directly to restaurants, ensuring that everyone benefits from increased service that ensures profit and better food.
Lors Thmey operates as a business unit within iDE Cambodia with a mission to improve the economic resilience of poor rural households.
iDE is facilitating change by supporting a network of Farm Business Advisors (FBAs), community agents who support small-scale farmers, who are often located in remote areas far away from commercial centers.
Two farmers participate in a quantitative assessment by our iQ team, which will be paired with results from a qualitative deep dive administered by our Human-Centered Design team. We interviewed them to understand the successes and barriers to growing and selling a very specific kind of sweet potato: an orange-fleshed sweet potato, high in Vitamin A.
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.
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.
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.
In Zambia, the major food crop and staple grown by small-scale farmers is maize. But maize doesn’t return enough profit for farmers to earn an adequate income. Zambia was a market in need of intervention.
Honduras is the leading producer and exporter of coffee in Central America. Doña Julia Rivera is a coffee farmer in Marcala—a region of Honduras known for its high-quality, organic, and sustainably produced coffee beans. Working with iDE, Doña Julia has been able to expand her farm business with the help of drip irrigation and farmer training. Her farm is now an example in her community.
The biggest barrier to handwashing is not always the availability of water or soap, but rather knowledge. Making the connection between dirty hands and disease is the first step.
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