In order to increase productivity and income, smallholder farmers need access to appropriate and affordable technology. Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation is a USAID-funded program that helps the private sector to scale and market agricultural innovations for smallholder farmers through investing in technology commercialization and knowledge exchange. The program also facilitates partnerships between USAID Missions and the private sector and provides business acceleration tools and services. By supporting public private partnerships that bring agricultural innovations to smallholder markets, Partnering for Innovation is helping build sustainable, market-based solutions to food security challenges around the world.
Farmers will have benefited from Partnering for Innovation's partnerships by September 2018
Farmers on 118,477 hectares have benefited from Partnering for Innovation's partnerships to date
Partners worked with 45 subpartners in 17 countries in FY16
Technologies valued at $17.5 million have been funded through Partnering for Innovation to date
Has been leveraged by partners to date, with $25,809,400 invested by Partnering for Innovation
Partnering for Innovation partners with private sector companies that are commercializing agricultural technologies, products, and services in smallholder markets. The program undertakes two kinds of partnerships. One focuses on technology commercialization in Feed the Future countries, helping introduce and scale off-the-shelf agricultural technologies. The second supports Missions' food security goals by working with the private sector to expand or introduce agricultural products and services in smallholder markets.
Partnering for Innovation's grant program is unique because of its streamlined application process, business-oriented negotiation process, and results-based implementation. Solicitations and selection criteria are designed with the private sector in mind, focusing on the soundness of the activity and the smallholder market-suitability as essential criteria. Negotiations push companies to realize their potential in the smallholder market and to set attainable but ambitious targets. Signed awards rely on results-based achievements for payment based on standard business metrics. When our partners succeed, we succeed.
Partnering for Innovation has funded 74 innovations to date, and works with USAID Missions in Benin, Guatemala, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ukraine, and Zambia. Examples of agricultural innovations the program has funded include:
- Hermetic storage bags
- Improved poultry breeds
- Small-scale egg incubators
- Tailored agricultural loan products
- Value-added orange-fleshed sweet potato products
- Traceability software
- Biological pest control
- Affordable cold storage
In addition to investing financially in its partners, Partnering for Innovation also supports them with acceleration services that help strengthen their business. These services include facilitating one-on-one consultations, organizing networking and learning events, and creating resources and tools that focus on a specific business challenge.
To strengthen and scale the work being done by its partners and others working in smallholder markets, Partnering for Innovation facilitates knowledge exchange through its online community, the AgTechXChange, as well as through events and online resources.
With more than 1,900 members, the AgTechXChange is the only online community exclusively for people and organizations working to commercialize agricultural innovations in smallholder markets. By providing an online forum for discussion, the AgTechXChange overcomes geographical barriers to networking and connecting.
Quarterly Tech Talks provide another opportunity to learn from other companies, NGOs, and investors working to build sustainable smallholder agricultural markets.