DuPont and the U.S. Agency for International Development on Thursday announced a joint agreement to improve smallholder farmers' access to agricultural technology.
Signed by DuPont Executive Vice President James C. Borel and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah at the World Economic Forum, the Memorandum of Understanding delivers on commitments made through the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition and builds on a history of partnership between DuPont, USAID, university partners, the private sector and NGOs.
The MOU adds to efforts already underway in Ethiopia and Ghana where USAID and DuPont are working to improve productivity and income of at least 35,000 smallholder farmers in each country through the adoption of new technologies.
Additionally, Asia and Latin America are also earmarked for initiatives. In the coming months, DuPont and USAID leadership teams will convene to discuss project planning, DuPont said.
Under the new MOU, DuPont and USAID have outlined a number of efforts to help increase smallholder farmers' yields and income potential while also improving nutrition outcomes over the next five years by:
• Strengthening access to seed technologies, credit, markets, and better storage facilities to limit post-harvest loss;
• Supporting value chain development and formal linkages with commercial farms;
• Building capacity for more youth and women scientists in agriculture, including through engagement of the Young African Leaders Initiative;
• Improving nutrition through biofortification of orphan crops, particularly sorghum, and use of enzyme technology for milk shelf-life extension;
• Providing training and support for plant protection and soil testing for improved crop quality and yields;
• Advancing efforts to introduce climate-resilient crops and innovations like nitrogen-fixing trees to help smallholders sustainably address climate change;
• Enabling Southern Hemisphere country knowledge exchanges on agricultural development approaches.
"We know that by improving smallholder farmers' access to key tools and technologies, we can help ensure they have the opportunities to participate in increasingly global markets," said Shah. "Better productivity, easier market access, and higher incomes lead to less poverty and improved nutrition."