Banyan Global


Feed the Future Strengthening Value Chains Activity

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Banyan Global was a subcontractor to Tetra Tech ARD on the Feed the Future Strengthening Value Chains (SVC) Activity. The activity used a value chain and market systems development approach to support broad-based economic growth for agricultural businesses working in the coffee, soy, and bean value chains in the South Kivu province of Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This approach combines direct technical assistance, capacity building for value chain actors, public-private partnership development, credit facilitation, marketing, behavior change communication, and advocacy.

Banyan Global provided technical leadership on gender equality and social inclusion, with a particular emphasis on youth. The work included the development of a gender equality, social inclusion, and conflict mitigation assessment and strategy guiding activity design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and staff and partner training. The strategy concentrated on integrating gender equality in decisions about agricultural production, access to and decision-making power over productive resources, control over use of income, leadership in the community, and time use. It used the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) tools as a starting point, with a focus on building the capacity of cooperatives to increase the benefits of participation of women and youth in farmer organizations in target value chains. This included using innovative and evidence-based approaches such as the Gender Action Learning System (GALS) to ensure that women and youth gain access to membership, leadership, and income-generating opportunities within cooperatives. In the DRC, SVC has established 112 community-based GALS champions in four territories (Kabare, Kalehe, Walungu, and Idjwi). GALS has motivated participating families to start new income-generating activities, diversify their revenue streams, and invest in capital assets, resulting in more resilient livelihoods. By September 2020, a survey of 51 agricultural producer organizations working with SVC showed that 35 percent of their leaders were women, of which 62 percent held one of the top five key posts in their organization.

Banyan Global also provided technical leadership to facilitate access to financial services for agribusinesses. Banyan Global’s access to finance work included direct support to two financial institutions, Equity Bank (formerly ProCredit) and FINCA, to help them expand their agricultural lending, leveraging a United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Development Finance Corporation guarantee. Banyan Global provided training to the banks on agricultural risk analysis and on integrating gender equality and social inclusion by developing specific financial products and services to meet the needs of women. In total, Banyan Global supported financial institutions in Eastern DRC in making 118 loans to agricultural borrowers for over $6 million. In addition, Banyan Global worked with business development service providers to build the financial and business management capacity of agribusinesses.

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