News

 

Chilly or Hot?

Farming a quarter-acre plot, in an area with poor rainfall and low- nutrient soils, can never be profitable. Or can it? Partnerships mediated by 2SCALE are transforming livelihoods in some of the poorest areas in Kenya. More than 7,000 farmers have signed contracts with Equator…

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AfricaWorks! 2014: Inclusive Value Chains – Fact or Fiction?

On 16th and 17th of October, 600 representatives of African and Dutch businesses, civil society organizations and governments participated in the Africa Works! 2014 conference. The 2SCALE team organized a workshop on inclusive value chains. BoP Innovation Center, IFDC and AACE Foods, one of the…

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High-Value Vegetables

Ethiopia’s Central Rift Valley offers great conditions (soil, temperature, rainfall) for growing vegetables, but small-scale producers face production and especially marketing challenges. That could soon change − new agribusiness clusters are confident that with better seeds and training, they can improve volumes and quality, and…

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More Cassava from Mozambique

2SCALE partnerships continue to create market opportunities for smallholder cassava farmers in Mozambique. Experts from cassava processor DADTCO, beer manufacturer SABMiller and 2SCALE visited Inhambane and Nampula provinces in July, meeting with farmers, traders, suppliers of planting material and other market players. The aim was…

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Sesame in Mali: Ready for Takeoff

Can 2SCALE support help a private company grow? Ask PROSEMA, a private firm in Mali that buys sesame from smallholder farmers, processes it into premium-grade product, and exports to China and Europe. In eight years, PROSEMA has grown from fledgling producer to market leader, buying…

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Scaling-up Sorghum

Sorghum was once an ‘orphan crop’ in Kenya, grown mostly by poor families for home consumption. Today, sorghum farmers in three counties (Meru, Tharaka-Nithi and Kitui) have gone commercial, with help from 2SCALE and Shalem Investments, a Kenyan commodities trading firm. Shalem buys sorghum on…

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Rhizobium Boosts Soybean Yields

Yields of legume crops can be substantially increased by ‘inoculating’ plants with Rhizobium bacteria – cheap, effective and environmentally friendly. Rhizobium encourages the growth of specialized root nodules that enable the plant to fix nitrogen, in effect making its own fertilizer. In 2013, 2SCALE and…

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Maize clusters in Nigeria

Two new maize clusters in southwest Nigeria are now operating at full throttle. The Oyo and Ogbomoso clusters together include 750 farmers cultivating 1,400 hectares of maize. Three new partners have brought in new ideas and new technologies. The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture offers…

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Multiple Crops, Multiple Benefits

Fifty producer groups, four crops, nearly $ 700,000 in private investment… the Gulu Agricultural Development Company (GADC) in Uganda reports that business is booming. 2SCALE works with GADC on sesame, sunflower, cotton and chilies, aiming to reach 25,000 farmers by end-2015. A formal agreement was…

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2SCALE Goes to Harvard

AACE Foods, a key 2SCALE partner in Nigeria, has been featured in the alumni bulletin of Harvard Business School. The company, founded by Ndidi and Mezuo Nwuneli, buys and processes fresh ginger, pepper and soybeans from 2SCALE agribusiness clusters, and processes it for sale to…

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South Sudan, Training on Seed Potatoes

The 2SCALE portfolio in South Sudan now includes potato. The first phase involves 60 farmers in Palwar and lerwa payams (a payam is a group of villages) in the Magwi region. 2SCALE sourced 6.5 tons of seed potato from Uganda for demonstration purposes. Six demonstration…

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IFDC Receives Accreditation

IFDC is now formally accredited with the government of Kenya – we say ‘formally’ because IFDC has worked closely with government ministries, NGOs and private sector partners in Kenya since the 1990s. The accreditation, signed in June, will strengthen the implementation of 2SCALE and other…

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Horticulture: 6 countries, 1 goal

2SCALE will work with the Europe-Africa- Caribbean-Pacific Liaison Committee (COLEACP) to strengthen horticulture value chains in six countries: Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria and Uganda. The organizations recently signed an agreement to work together to build capacity through training-the-trainers programs. COLEACP’s mandate is to help…

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Cotton Coop Scales Up

2SCALE is helping the Nyakatonzi Growers’ Cooperative Union in Uganda to increase profits by increasing value addition, The 15,000-member cooperative, in Kasese district, produces and processes cotton. Cottonseed oil is a valuable by-product, but the cooperative’s processing equipment is outdated, so oil yields and quality…

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We Train, We Learn

Capacity strengthening is a key component in 2SCALE. Feedback from our partners suggests we’re doing well – but can we do better? The Regional Review and Capitalization Workshop held in Cotonou, Benin, in May helped distil lessons learned from last season, identify gaps in the…

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