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USAID Helps Improve Livelihoods and Food Security in DRC

By: USAID Press Office | Date: March 20, 2012

Kinshasa, DRC, March 20, 2012 —The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is pleased to announce a new five-year project to boost the production of staple crops, like cassava, corn, beans, cowpeas, and peanuts in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and thereby, make food cheaper and more available for the Congolese people.

 According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), agricultural production in the DRC has fallen 40 percent since 1990. The national average caloric intake is estimated at no more than 1,500 kilocalories (Kcal) per person per day, far below that required to maintain good health or the level recommended by the FAO.

To address this issue, USAID is launching a five-year, $32 million project, entitled the Food Production, Processing, and Marketing (FPPM) program. This new program is designed to assist rural populations with each stage of the agricultural process. It will fund the development and distribution of improved varieties of cassava, as well as help to modernize farming practices across Kinshasa, Bandundu, and Bas-Congo provinces. In addition, the project will work with small and micro-enterprises to improve the production, storage, transportation, and marketing of their agricultural products.

“This project will help to increase production levels and rural incomes by teaching farmers new, more efficient agricultural practices and how to better take advantage of market opportunities,” said Dr. Diana B. Putman, USAID/DRC Mission Director, adding that “this project will also assist the DRC government in its efforts to resume its role as a major food producer for both domestic consumption and export.”
 
Development Alternatives Incorporated is the implementing partner of the FPPM project, with the International Fertilizer Development Center and Making Cents as sub-contractors.