- A six-year project to aimed at improving Angola's smallholder farmers' produce and access to markets has received a grant $6.4 million from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Project, to be managed by World Vision will open new market opportunities, within reach, for some of the world's poorest farmers.
PRORENDA project, as it is known, is a groundbreaking initiative designed to benefit smallholder farmers in Angola's central highlands, 60 percent of whom are said to be women, including war widows and female heads of vulnerable households. Beneficiaries also include people with disabilities sustained during Angola's 27-year civil conflict.
By connecting smallholder farmers in the central highlands to major urban markets for crops such as potatoes, carrots, and onions, project seeks to raise incomes of 51,000 smallholder farmer families.
According to a release by project managers, funds will be disbursed over a six-year period, enabling World Vision to equip and train farmer organisations to strengthen their "value chains," improving business activities such as production, marketing, packaging, and sales.
"This funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will enable us to implement community-level, economic transformation in a country that is courageously rebuilding itself," said Rich Stearns, president of World Vision. "Hard-working farmers will be given opportunities to grow their businesses and provide for their families, helping to support the growth, health, and stability of the region."
While focusing on poverty reduction, project will increase ability of farmers to compete in urban markets by developing sound strategies and adding post-harvest value to products, enable effective organisation of smallholder farmers to negotiate better prices, increasing opportunities for small business loans and achieving economies of scale, and in enhancing quality of products and increasing crop yield through adoption of improved technologies that protect environment.
Angolan people have struggled to grasp new opportunities following nearly three decades of war that decimated country's basic infrastructure. During the war, more than 4 million of Angola's 11 million population are said to have been displaced, with process of rural resettlement still continuing, but with limited resources for families.
World Vision has worked in Angola since 1989, and since 2002 has implemented rehabilitation and development programmes in agricultural sector in Huambo and central highlands of Angola where approximately two-thirds of population lives, including a high proportion of war-displaced returnees.
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