Agriculture and Food Security

870 Million People are Hungry

Of the world’s seven billion people, 870 million are undernourished. This means that one out of every eight people lacks enough food to eat every day, 98 percent of whom live in developing countries.

Natural disasters, war and ineffective infrastructure present constant threats to agricultural production. Additionally, ever-present and uncertain changes in the world’s climate play an increasing role in disturbing the farming industry. Combined with the global economic crisis of recent years, these factors contribute to fluctuating food prices that wreak havoc on the livelihoods of farmers, especially smallholder farmers.

In response to current agricultural predicaments, CAMRIS works with its partners and counterparts to assess and forecast need, develop and implement programs to help prevent hunger and to respond to emergency situations when the need arises. We engage with a wide range of stakeholders, from government’s ministries to rural smallholder farmers, to apply strategies focusing on food-security analysis and monitoring, innovative farmer finance and training, disaster relief programs, improved market access and capacity building measures.

When clients need to add capacity to execute their mission, CAMRIS weaves solutions that increases client capabilities. We increase your capabilities through our service delivery tracks that include:

  • Program and project design and implementation

  • Capacity building

    • Individual

    • Organization (agency, bureau, mission, implementing partners)

  • Institutional support 

  • International experts

  • Researchers

  • Delivery of high quality baseline through end of project evaluations

  • Monitoring and Evaluation

Challenge

USAID/Peru conceived the New Alternatives Program, NAP, as a vehicle to support the transition of communities in post-eradication areas from coca dependency to licit livelihoods.  To achieve this with funding levels lower than in the last 20 years, USAID sought an unprecedented level of contractor collaboration and institutional strengthening support for the Government of Peru agency responsible for the fight against illicit drugs, DEVIDA.

CAMRIS Approach

Recognizing the importance of providing a local solution, CAMRIS partnered with a Peruvian firm, and leverages USAID funding by supporting and strengthening Peruvian government efforts to reduce poverty and coca production in post-eradication areas. The cornerstone of the project’s approach has been to build the strategic and operational ability of DEVIDA to implement post-eradication activities. We have achieved this by providing a proven team of field experts to work with DEVIDA teams throughout Peru while supporting DEVIDA central leadership and management to optimize the program’s management. Our team supports integrated rural development that drives balanced development through all aspects of sustainable agricultural production and commercialization, community development and governance, small farmer associativity, and the expansion of access to credit. A robust communications platform supports these efforts. NAP promotes equal gender access to all programs and supported DEVIDA to adopt a gender mainstreaming policy and plan as part of Peru’s 5-year national strategy for drug control. 

In concert with this core work with DEVIDA, NAP collaborates with and supports an increasingly broad array of stakeholders, including communities, public institutions, and private organizations that play key roles in building the social and economic foundation for licit communities in post-eradication areas. To broaden GOP support for project objectives, the project has supported DEVIDA to secure commitments to invest more resources in alternative development as well as the other key components of the counter-drug strategy: interdiction, illegal coca eradication and drug use prevention.

Result

Program results have been impressive, which prompted USAID to extend the program from four to five years.  The following results are emblematic of our performance and the results of our institutional support model through the third quarter of the fourth year of implementation.

  • Over 14,300 families participate in the program through signed agreements with DEVIDA to transition to licit livelihoods and cease coca cultivation.
  • Participating communities have formed 327 community development committees, which have succeeded in leveraging over $6.5 million in public funding through participatory budgeting for activities prioritized in their community development plans, facilitated by NAP and DEVIDA.
  • NAP has worked with small farmers to apply an agroforestry approach in installing over 7,000 hectares of premium cacao and coffee jointly with DEVIDA.
  • The project has facilitated the formation and preparation of 376 agricultural committees with 9,390 members.NAP supports these committees to sell their members’ production; deals which totaled $2.7 million in the last three quarters. Sales by small farmers throughout post-eradication areas have exceeded $10M per year for the last two years.
  • NAP has supported farmers and organizations to install and manage over 220 organic fertilizer modules, which produced 61,150 liters of fertilizer to restore soils depleted by coca cultivation in the first three quarters of the current year alone.
  • To support high-quality agricultural production among participants, NAP established an agreement with the national bank, AGROBANCO, to offer credit services in post-eradication areas.These have resulted in 2,108 loans for $4.75M over the project to date with an exceedingly low default rate of 0.67%, which is facilitating the continued expansion of these credit products.
  • NAP has developed a community communications platform that includes over 400 community promoters in a network of over 155 communities.These promoters work with community development committees, municipal authorities and others to carry out communications supporting their communities’ development.
  • DEVIDA has increased its funding for Post-Eradication Program field activities dramatically, exceeding the project’s objective of the GOP assuming 80% of field activity costs while providing over 80% of the program’s personnel.
  • With NAP support, DEVIDA has led the development of a national counterdrug strategy that has made the post-eradication program a centerpiece, concentrating the alternative development funding on areas where eradication will take place and adopting a gender mainstreaming policy, among other advances.

Challenge

Develop an integrated nutrition framework to provide a roadmap for short- and long-term nutrition investments in Zambia, which ranks among the world’s worst in rates of undernutrition, malnutrition, and child nutritional stunting.

CAMRIS Approach

A comprehensive assessment of the dimensions and causes of undernutrition in Zambia, including:

  • Nutrition and food consumption
  • Production and use of specialized food products (therapeutic, supplementary, or complementary foods)
  • Sociocultural norms related to food and nutrition
  • Links between agricultural production and nutrition
  • Current policy environment, programs, and resources
  • Human resource capacities
  • Optional delivery mechanisms for nutrition services and products
  • Involvement of country-level stakeholders, including other donors and private sector
  • Management structure and capacity of U.S. Government donor support, including its comparative advantage

Result

The CAMRIS team developed an integrated framework for “repositioning nutrition and food security” through capacity building and institutional strengthening in the areas of training and program roll-out; strengthening agricultural extension; upgrading professional nutrition training; and facilitating a nutrition advocacy initiative. To increase and improve nutrition coverage through the health system, the framework recommended specific community- and facility-based strategies. For food security, the framework recommended a cost-effective agricultural production package designed to increase the resilience of targeted households.

Challenge

Enhance the planning, management, and reporting of projects implemented in Iraq by the Office of Capacity Building and Development (OCBD) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

CAMRIS Approach

An assessment of practices and procedures for improving information use in OCBD projects. The assessment focused on improving OCBD’s ability to:

  • Identify and define project strategies and objectives at a results level

  • Develop performance indicators to facilitate the collection of performance data

  • Manage effectively and report on project and program results

Result

The assessment served as the basis for a revised planning and management approach for the OCBD Iraq program and provided structure for an OCBD training event.