Food and Nutrition Security

Sierra Leone: Smallholder farmers and the global food crisis

The war between Russia and Ukraine has led to unprecedented price shocks in food, energy, and fertilizer globally due to the centrality of both countries in the functionality of these markets. Like in most countries in the world, Sierra Leone is severely affected by these shocks. Prices of food and non-food commodities have also increased exponentially.

Poor smallholder farmers—who already struggled to produce enough food—are facing severe impacts because they can no longer afford inputs and related services. Food security, especially among the rural population who depend largely on farming as a primary source of livelihood, is therefore of grave concern. Farmers are reporting that they are only planting half the field size, the price of seeds and fertilizer has more than doubled, and "low production levels of food crops is inevitable."

To understand the current impact of the global food crisis on smallholder farmers and their (farmers) resilience in the local context, CARE engaged participants of its Solar Harnessed Entrepreneurs project in two communities in the north of the country. The aim is to obtain first-hand information on affordability of inputs, impact of these shocks especially on women farmers and farmers’ coping mechanisms in the wake of the current global crisis.
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Harvesting the Outcomes of SHOUHARDO III’s Local Service Provision Model of Micro Seed Dealers and Micro Seed Retailers (MSD/MSR)

SHOUHARDO III aims to ensure sustainable agriculture and livelihood for its beneficiaries. Part of this entailed forming community groups consisting of both men and women farmers, as well as increasing their capability in terms of quality seeds, agricultural technology, input and output markets, and connections with public and private actors. Read More...

SHOUHARDO III – Capturing the changes and impacts of reformed Community Groups

SHOUHARDO III program established the Community-level Thematic Groups in the inception year of the program in 2016 to facilitate the large-scale program interventions on Agriculture and Livelihoods (Farmers’ Field Business School/FFBS), Health and Nutrition (Maternal Child Health and Nutrition/MCHN groups and Mother Groups), Women’s Empowerment (Empowerment Knowledge and Transformative Action/EKATA), and Governance (Village Development Committees) with additional components represented by the youth groups and Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA). These groups were reformed into gender and age-specific Community Groups (CG) following the midterm evaluation in 2018 that provided recommendations on putting in place a sustainability strategy. Read More...

Baseline Study of the Resilience Food Security Activities (RFSAs) in Niger

This report is a baseline study of three Resilience Food Security Activities (RFSAs) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (legacy Office of Food for Peace [FFP] in Niger. Part of the Resilience in the Sahel-Enhanced (RISE) initiative, the RFSAs in Niger are: Girma in the Zinder region, implemented by Catholic Relief Services; Hamzari in the Maradi region, implemented by CARE; and Wadata in the Zinder region, implemented by Save the Children. The RFSAs aim to address critical challenges in food security, nutrition, and poverty, and to improve the resilience of households and communities. The baseline study included a representative population-based survey (PBS) of 2,325 households (775 households per RFSA area). Data collection was scheduled for May–April 2020 but due to the COVID-19 pandemic fieldwork was suspended until local regulations and conditions indicated that face-to-face interviewing could safely resume with COVID-19 mitigation procedures in place. The survey was conducted in September 2020 and ended at the start of the harvest period in October 2020. The sample was selected using a multi-stage clustered sampling design to provide a statistically representative sample of the three RFSA areas. The questionnaire was streamlined from the standard FFP questionnaire for a non-permissive environment. Estimates of impact-level indicators pertaining to poverty and anthropometry were expected to be derived from the RISE II baseline survey, scheduled to take place a few months after the RFSA baseline survey. Read More...

My Forest, My Livelihood, My Family program (FUTURES) Baseline report

The FUTURES—My Forest, My Livelihood, My Family program (FUTURES) serves communities in the Yayu Coffee Forest Biosphere Reserve (YCFBR) located in Southwestern Ethiopia, in Oromia Regional State. The YCFBR encompasses the Hurumu, Yayo, Bilo Nopa, Alge-Sachi, and Doreni woredas of Illu-Abba Bora zone and Chora woreda of Buno Bedele zone and includes protected forest area as well as designated areas for economic activities like coffee and spice production, commercial forest plantations and eco-tourism, and areas where many traditional and modern agricultural practices take place.
Households in the area depend on a combination of small-scale agricultural and forest management systems dominated by traditional agronomic practices and characterized by a lack of crop diversity and low productivity. Deforestation, degradation, and increased loss of biodiversity are major concerns for sustainable agricultural and livelihood practice in the region. Social, gender, and cultural barriers have historically limited women’s and youth’s engagement in agricultural and economic sectors. High rates of early and forced marriage, and limited availability of reproductive health and family planning services, especially youth-friendly services, may further limit women and youth from participating meaningfully in agricultural practice and livelihood generation. Government services and local civil society organizations in the area operate at a limited capacity, and their offices are male-dominated and do not meaningfully incorporate a gendered approach to their work (Gebrehanna and Seyoum, 2020).
The three-year FUTURES project was launched in April 2021 to address many of the health, environment, and livelihood concerns of the YCFBR region. The project is implemented by CARE Ethiopia and its three local partners, Oromia Development Association (ODA), Environment and Coffee Forest Forum (ECFF), and Kulich Youth Reproductive Health and Development Organization (KYRHDO). The FUTURES project evaluation, funded by USAID, and led by Data for Impact (D4I), aims to understand the impact of the FUTURES project on key health, agricultural, and livelihood and conservation behavioral outcomes, and to contribute to knowledge about the implementation of cross-sectoral programs, including monitoring, evaluations, and learning (MEL) of such programs. Read More...

Information for Adaptation in Vietnam (InfoAct)

Enhanced livelihoods and increased resilience of poor ethnic minority women and men rural areas to the effects of climate change and variability.
The “Information for Adaptation in Vietnam” Project (InfoAct) is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, abbreviated BMZ, and jointly implemented by CARE Vietnam (CVN) and three local partners, named Center for Community Development (CCD), Lai Chau Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and Lai Chau provincial Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU). The project sites include four communes of Dien Bien province and four communes of Lai Chau province, namely: Muong Phang and Pa Khoang communes (Dien Bien district); Ang Cang, Ang Nua communes (Muong Ang District); Than Thuoc, Trung Dong, Ho Mit and Nam So Communes of Tan Uyen district, Lai Chau province. The overall objective of the InfoAct Project is to enhance livelihoods and increase the resilience of poor ethnic minority women and men in rural areas to the effects of climate change and variability. This is to be accomplished through a specific objective (outcome) to ensure ethnic minority households in rural areas have improved access to and use of climate information, and resources to help increase their climate resilience. The InfoAct Project is focusing mainly on two target groups: (1) 5,000 ethnic minority households, especially women, in Dien Bien and Lai Chau provinces and (2) government authorities and service providers, namely Department of Hydro-Meteorology, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and the provincial VWU and CCD. As InfoAct was going to phase out after three years’ implementation and close all its activities by November 2021, an independent final evaluation was conducted to understand the project’s impacts/outcomes and key lessons learned.
The Final Evaluation applied a mixed-method approach by using qualitative and quantitative data from primary and secondary sources. The primary data was collected from the key informants and household survey. The household survey was implemented with 363 and 266 people in Dien Bien and Lai Chau provinces, respectively. A total of 49 In-deep Interview (IDI) was conducted with stakeholders. In addition, 34 women and 39 men in two provinces participated in Focus Group Discussion (FGD). Read More...

Recipe for Response: What We Know About the Next Global Food Crisis, and How to Fight it

The genesis of the present hunger crisis goes back farther than February 2022 and is due to a combination of global and localized factors. Globally, climate change has compromised agricultural livelihoods and led to displacement, especially in regions like the Horn of Africa and Central America’s Dry Corridor, where famers struggle to produce yields that meet the needs of local markets. The global economic fallouts associated with COVID-19, and inadequate social safety nets, have led to record unemployment and growing poverty—especially for women and women-led households (UN Women 2021)—so that even where food is available, high prices put basic items out of reach for many. Armed conflict is also driving food insecurity, for example by making it difficult for farmers to cultivate their lands, or damaging or disrupting vital agricultural infrastructure—such as transportation, storage and distribution sites—and reducing access to markets and assistance.
Women and girls are disproportionately impacted by food insecurity and related shocks. Gender norms and roles mean that women are often responsible for their households’ food security, including shopping for and preparing food, yet they might also be the ones to eat “last and least” in their household. Women are also more likely to be excluded from decision-making when it comes
to addressing hunger in their communities (CARE 2020). These types of gendered imbalances hurt entire communities: in a 2021 assessment in Sudan, CARE found that 82% of people living in female-headed households reported recently skipping a meal, compared with 56% of people living in male-headed households. Read More...

FINAL EVALUATION “Support to Development of Agricultural Cooperatives”

The Final Evaluation Report consists of a project background, methodology, main findings (including analysis of in-depth interviews and focus group results), conclusions, recommendations and lessons learnt. The methodology used triangulation, combining desk research (qualitative and quantitative secondary data) and primary data collected during the mission in North Macedonia via interviews and focus groups in Skopje and other locations.
Relevance: The project was clearly relevant to the context of North Macedonia and the Western Balkans region. The interventions were timely and focused on addressing the priority needs of farmers, important for enhancing sustainability of North Macedonian agriculture. Its design was based on the in-depth needs assessment, which was a collaborative effort carried out by the partners, stakeholders and project beneficiaries. In the course of its implementation, the identified needs farmers and stakeholders were also met by the project to a great extent.
Effectiveness: The effectiveness of the project was visible in several areas. However in some areas more time is needed – likely until the completion of the project - to unveil the project outcomes and impacts. The project greatly succeeded in creating a significant number of new ACs and increasing the involvement of farmers into this kind of business model. Yet, their membership size is often small. Despite the efforts to consolidate representation of the AC’s, there were mixed results regarding the umbrella organization. On the one hand, it visibly improved the planning, management, and provision of services while ensuring the continuation of the funding until the end of 2020. On the other hand, it split into two entities, which hampered the consolidation process. There is limited progress that is visible in terms improved business performance of the ACs. However, the project lifespan was too short to detect a major shift in economic terms.
Efficiency: The implementation of the project was smooth and largely in line with its budget and timeline. The project encountered minor delays and budget issues from the beginning. Yet, the project was complemented with in-kind resources of the partners and thus was cost-efficient. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the project duration had to be extended. The management of the project was very efficient and responsive against this force majeure. The project lifetime was extended and this allowed for an adequate adaptation to those unusual circumstances.
Sustainability: Despite the relatively successful establishment of the ACs, the sustainability of the project has been called into question due to the fact that related legal frameworks have not been adopted and the challenges ACs face in accessing the markets. The cooperatives benefitted from investments to upgrade farm facilities (machinery, post-harvest storage), yet they were not clearly embedded into functioning value chains. The pandemic proved to be challenging for enhancing the links between the farmers and other value chain actors. Participation in face-to-face meetings and business events was seriously constrained. Yet, the project succeeded in facilitating contacts between business partners, especially for the AC Prespansko Jabolche. Read More...

EVALUATION A MI-PARCOURS DU PROJET « PROSPER I »

Le projet évalué a pour objectif de contribuer au développement durable des communautés productrices de cacao, à travers une approche communautaire, qui repose sur trois piliers essentiels à savoir : i) le renforcement des capacités locales de développement et la mise en place/ œuvre des Plans d’Action Communautaire (PAC) ; ii) la diversification des revenus et iii) la nutrition et l’assainissement du cadre de vie. Pour atteindre ces objectifs, la stratégie élaborée repose sur les trois piliers du projet qui sont : Le processus de planification communautaire a démarré avec les Diagnostics participatifs (DP) qui ont pris en compte la priorisation des actions de développement dans les communautés participantes. Les DP ont abouti à la mise en place des Comités de développement communautaire (CDCOM) qui se sont chargés, avec l'appui de l'équipe projet, d'élaborer les Plans d'Action Communautaire (PAC). Les comités sont composés de quinze (15) membres dont l’organe de gestion (président, secrétaire en charge du suivi évaluation, trésorier). Les autres membres ont en charge les principales thématiques du projet à savoir la nutrition et l’hygiène, la diversification culturale, la promotion du genre, les AVEC (Associations Villageoises d’Epargne et de Crédit).
Les CDCOM et les AVEC sont des canaux de renforcement de capacités des membres des communautés afin de contribuer ainsi au développement de leurs communautés respectives. Les bénéficiaires qui sont les membres de la communauté œuvrent pour leur autonomisation (sociale et économique) ainsi que pour le développement de leur localité. Ils sont composés d’hommes, de femmes, de jeunes hommes et de jeunes femmes. Les activités avec le CDCOM se résument en des formations sur la conduite de réunion, la gestion pacifique et la prévention des conflits, la mobilisation des ressources, la mobilisation communautaire, la mise en œuvre de leur plan d’action communautaire.
Cette évaluation a deux objectifs principaux : i) analyser les progrès réalisés par le projet en rapport avec ses objectifs et résultats cibles et ii) identifier les effets émergeant des activités du projet qui ont contribué positivement ou négativement aux conditions de vie des communautés productrices de cacao.
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Projet Cargill: ‹‹PROSPER: Thriving Cocoa Communities›› ETUDES DE BASE SUR LA SECURITE ALIMENTAIRE ET DES MOYENS DE SUBSISTANCE DES MENAGES, L’AUTONOMISATION DE LA FEMME, LA NUTRITION ET L’HYGIENE

Le présent document est le fruit de la consultation relative à l’Enquête de base du projet PROSPER mis en œuvre par CARE International Côte d’Ivoire dans 10 communautés sous le financement de CARGILL.
Le projet vise à contribuer au développement durable de dix(10) communautés productrices de cacao, à travers une approche communautaire, qui repose sur quatre (04) piliers essentiels à savoir : (i) le renforcement des capacités de développement local, (ii) la mise en œuvre de Plan de développement Communautaire ; (iii) la diversification des revenus et (iv) la nutrition et assainissement du cadre de vie.
Cette initiative est déroulée, en étroite collaboration, avec neuf (09) coopératives partenaires commerciaux de Cargill WA à savoir : COASI (Soubré), COOPAAPROMAN (Agnibilekro), CPB (Gagnoa), CPSL (Sassandra), ETC (Taabo), SOCABB (Divo), SOCEDA (San Pedro), SOCOOPENHA (Tabou) et SOUHONTA-KAKO (Grand-Bereby).
Avant la mise en œuvre de ce projet, il est nécessaire de disposer de données de base sur la situation actuelle des ménages dans les communautés sélectionnées avant l’intervention du projet afin d’en évaluer la progression et l’efficacité avant et après la mise en œuvre.
L’objectif principal de l'enquête de base est de déterminer la situation actuelle des ménages dans les communautés sélectionnées avant l'intervention du projet afin que puissent être mesurés les changements intervenus après trois (03) années de mise en œuvre, en utilisant la même approche. L'impact du projet doit conserver la spécificité du contexte et des significations culturelles du changement de comportement des femmes et des hommes.
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