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Feed the Future Strengthening Value Chains Activity – USAID/Democratic Republic of Congo

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Banyan Global is a sub-contractor to Tetra Tech ARD on the five-year USAID Feed the Future Strengthening Value Chains Activity. The activity is using a value chain and market systems development approach to support broad-based economic growth for agricultural businesses in the North and South Kivu provinces 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 provides technical leadership on gender equality and social inclusion integration with a particular emphasis on youth. The work has included the development of a gender equality and conflict mitigation assessment and strategy that is guiding activity design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and staff and partner training. The strategy concentrates 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 uses the Feed the Future 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 agricultural cooperatives in target value chains. This includes supporting cooperatives to integrate gender policy development into governance trainings for coffee cooperatives, tools to evaluate gender equality in the governance and financial capacity of cooperatives, and gender integration in agricultural training for farmers in target regions.

Banyan Global also provides technical leadership to facilitate access to financial services for agribusinesses. Banyan Global’s financial services work includes direct support to two financial institutions, ProCredit Bank and FINCA, to help them expand their agricultural lending. In addition, Banyan Global will work with business development service providers to build the financial and business management capacity of agribusinesses. The work is integrating gender equality and social inclusion by developing specific financial products and services to meet the needs of women and youth.