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USAID Helps Farmers to Boost Agricultural Production

July 27, 2012
Acting USAID Mission Director Alexander Newton visits a cassava field outside Kikwit. (State Dept. Images)

Acting USAID Mission Director visits a cassava field outside Kikwit. (State Dept. Images)

Mbanza Muyika cassava field in Bandundu. (State Dept. Images)

Mbanza Muyika cassava field in Bandundu. (State Dept. Images)

On July 27, 2012, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the Food Production, Processing, and Marketing (FPPM) program in Bandundu province. This five year, $32 million project aims to boost agricultural production throughout the region, as well as in neighboring Kinshasa and Bas-Congo provinces, in an effort to make food cheaper and more available for the Congolese people.

“This project is helping to teach farmers new and more efficient agricultural practices” said Alexander Newton, USAID/DRC Acting Mission Director. FPPM is working with partners to develop “Farmer Field Schools,” which will offer business, financial, and entrepreneurship training to local organizations and existing farmer associations. In addition, it will fund the development and distribution of improved varieties of cassava, as well as help to modernize farming practices across the three provinces. M. Newton noted that “to date, the project has distributed 331,500 cuttings across 221 hectares in the Bandundu territories.”  Finally, the program will work with small and micro-enterprises to improve the production, storage, transportation, and marketing of their agricultural products.

FPPM is one of the many ways that USAID is helping farmers in Bandundu province. Since April 2012, the Agency has supported 69 small farmer organizations from the territories of Masi-Manimba, Bulungu, Gungu, and Idiofa, representing over 6,900 households, to plant more than 200 hectares of seeds and to distribute 206 hectares of planting material to individual farmers.