The five-year SAADA project, funded through a grant of €16 million (US $21.78 million) from the Netherlands’ Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS), began in 2006 and ran through December 2010. SAADA-B project activities (see below) were extended into 2011 due to bridge funding. IFDC, as implementing partner, was charged with organizing a strategic alliance of international non-governmental organizations to facilitate regional, national and multinational agricultural intensification/agribusiness programs with an initial focus in West Africa.
With the project’s expansion, efforts broadened to include similar project activity in select East and southern African countries. Specialized socio-agricultural, or holistic programs were also designed and implemented in select countries throughout Africa. These holistic programs addressed issues such as gender equality, school food programs, conflict prevention and resource conservation – issues that are common to almost every IFDC project in Africa.
The SAADA project comprised three components – each addressing a focused set of issues while sharing broader common objectives. These components included:
- SAADA-C: Agricultural intensification combined with a holistic approach to socio-agricultural issues across multiple projects such as gender equality, resource conservation, HIV/AIDS, school food programs and conflict prevention among other areas of intervention.
The 1000s+ project was the primary component of SAADA-A. With funding from DGIS and implementation by IFDC, the project aimed to improve the livelihoods of one million farm households through the upscaling of the Competitive Agricultural Systems and Enterprises (CASE) approach. CASE is a learning-action approach based on three pillars:
- Agribusiness cluster formation.
- Commodity chain development.
- Transactional governance (creating an enabling trade environment utilizing public and private institutions).
The project also focused on ISFM, improving soil fertility through the combined use of mineral and organic fertilizers. 1000s+ was a farmer-led initiative. In each project country, farmer organizations at the national level chaired a multi-stakeholder committee that was responsible for the selection process and choice of agribusiness clusters and value chains. At the local level, farmer organizations were supported to become the key drivers in the agribusiness cluster formation process.
The target countries for 1000s+ were Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Togo. IFDC's goal was to increase agricultural productivity and economic growth for one million farming families, involving as many as 10 million people. 1000s+ also worked to reinforce the capacities of 2,000 local enterprises, including farmer cooperatives and business development services.
Due to bridge funding, SAADA-B activities continued in 2011. The objective of SAADA-B was to expand IFDC activities and best practices developed in West Africa such as ISFM, UDP, fertilizer resource assessment and market information systems (MIS) into other regions of Africa. Specifically, this project expansion was designed to replicate the CASE approach and other aspects of the IFDC agribusiness model in select countries of East and southern Africa. Prior to the initiation of these SAADA-B activities, IFDC prepared the groundwork in a group of East African countries, establishing long-term projects in Malawi, Mozambique and Uganda. For this purpose, IFDC developed a framework for Agricultural Inputs Market Strengthening (AIMS) and conducted country assessments in these pilot countries as well as Angola, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia (among others). IFDC also studied the agricultural situations in Ethiopia and Rwanda. IFDC’s methodology in these efforts has been proven over its 37-year history, with agribusiness development models and a package of concepts, approaches and management systems that have been recognized for their effectiveness in Africa and other parts of the world.
The SAADA-B program consisted of the following components:
- Expansion of the CASE approach: Replication of CASE used in West Africa to thousands of farm families in the Horn of Africa, the Great Lakes region of central Africa and other regions.
- Implementation of a framework for agricultural input supply systems: Increasing awareness of, and progress toward, efficient agricultural input markets.
- Expansion of MIS and the use of decision support systems.
- Strengthening the capacities of private sector producer and trade organizations.
- Development of national legislation for marketing of agricultural inputs and encouraging the adoption of market-friendly policies and regulations for agro-input markets.
- Support for regional organizations in the creation of regional agro-input markets.
- Creation of public-private partnerships with international and multinational companies.
- Accelerated implementation of Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development (CAADP) plans related to sustainable agribusiness.
This component of SAADA was a holistic approach that focused on socio-agricultural issues across multiple projects. Subjects such as gender incorporation, natural resources management, HIV/AIDS, school food programs and conflict prevention were just some of the areas of intervention that cut across multiple IFDC projects in East, West and southern Africa.
SAADA-C allowed IFDC and its partners to reach a deeper understanding of both social and agricultural challenges facing farming communities. These issues tended to be common – cutting across many projects in numerous countries. This provided IFDC the opportunity to address these concerns in a broader holistic context and assess how to incorporate solutions that will more effectively contribute to agricultural development in Sub-Saharan Africa and in other regions.
The SAADA-C program consisted of the following components:
- Trade capacity building: Improving regional harmonization of agricultural inputs and other trade policies leading to increased trade within target regions and greater export opportunities outside of those regions.
- A special focus on gender: Increasing the number of women in target areas who receive training and technology transfer – while improving their economic power and welfare through production and participation.
- Providing support to the Ghana School Feeding Program: Building linkages between female rice farmers and caterers who supply food to local schools.
- Preserving biodiversity and the natural resource base: Measuring the thousands of additional farmers who adopt ISFM techniques suited to local conditions.
- Addressing HIV/AIDS in Africa: Providing better information on coping measures for those with HIV/AIDS in terms of agricultural practices, nutrition and crop value addition.
- Conflict prevention and governance improvement: Increasing the number of agricultural policy reforms stimulated by partner civil organizations.
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