Partners for Development

Economic Empowerment

PfD support the growth of woman entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises by providing microcredit and other financial services, offering business development skills training, and introducing new technologies. Our community-based programming focuses on women entrepreneurs, small businesses and farmers and provides partners with training and support.

Current programs with a focus on economic empowerment include:

Water, Hygiene and Sanitation Community Empowerment

Nigeria

Working with the Nigerian Department of Environment and community Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) committees, PfD is strengthening the ability of local leaders to identify community WASH needs, plan, and implement projects.

 

Capacity Building of Local Institutions on WASH: With funding from UNICEF, PfD is currently implementing the Capacity Building of Local Institutions on WASH project in Delta, Edo and Ekiti States in Nigeria.  PfD works with the local government Department of Environment (in charge of water and sanitation) and community WASH committees (WASHCOM), focusing on strengthening the ability of communities to identify needs, plan and implement WASH projects.  By engaging local leaders who are committed to their own development, PfD ensures the sustainability of the WASH projects.


Markets II

Nigeria

MARKETS II is working with poor rural farmers and smallholders in Nigeria to improve performance, income, and nutrition through private sector-driven market interventions. To this end, PfD is working with 20 agricultural producer associations to strengthen their organizational, financial, and administrative capacity, allowing them to manage donor funds and increase productivity.

 

MARKETS II is working with poor rural farmers and smallholders in Nigeria to improve performance, income, and nutrition through private sector-driven market interventions. To this end, PfD is working with 20 agricultural producer associations to strengthen their organizational, financial, and administrative capacity, allowing them to manage donor funds and increase productivity.

In January 2015, PfD signed an agreement with Chemonics to participate in its USAID-funded MARKETS II project to provide institutional capacity building to selected smallholder agricultural producers and processors in three states in Nigeria.

The first MARKETS activity was a highly successful program that fostered private sector-led agricultural productivity, advanced agriculture and trade policy reform, improved farmers’ access to new agricultural technologies, and strengthened both public and private institutions. MARKETS II will deepen and extend the MARKETS model with the aim to improve the performance of Nigerian poor rural farmers or smallholders, their incomes and nutrition through proven private sector demand driven market interventions. The program focuses on smallholder farmers who cultivate between 1 and 5 hectares of land, up to 80% of whom are women.

As a part of the MARKETS II Project, PfD is working to strengthen the capacity of 20 agricultural producer associations in financial, administrative and group dynamics in Nigeria’s Delta, Edo and Rivers states, enabling them to effectively manage donor funds, provide valuable services that will enable recipients to increase their productivity. PfD has been collaborating with the MARKETS program since its inception, especially in the development of the Nigerian Agricultural Enterprise Curriculum (NAEC), which PfD has integrated into many of the business development services trainings it has conducted over the years for agricultural entrepreneurs.


Anne Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund

Nigeria

Created in memory of Anne Johnson, this scholarship fund provides microloans to help fund small enterprises in northeastern Nigeria, mostly for borrowers who would not otherwise have access to conventional credit. This endowment earns interest, which is then used to provide secondary school scholarships girls’ education.

 

Initially, PFD set a target of $20,000 for the Fund’s endowment. In September 2014, it provided that $20,000 as a loan to Gerewa, a long time local partner operating community development activities in Bauchi State in northeastern Nigeria. With this loan of $20,000, Gerewa has in turn issued 182 microloans to help fund small enterprises – often kiosks for small-scale trading – and for agricultural activities. Sixty three (63) percent of the loans have gone to women, with the loans averaging $110 each. The great majority of borrowers do not have access to conventional bank credit because the banks view them as either too risky to lend to and/or too expensive to monitor. Thus, their only options for credit are moneylenders whose interest rates are typically over 100% per annum. Gerewa, on the other hand, charges about 3-3.3% interest per month on the small loans and also help the borrowers with businessdevelopment skills. Thus, Gerewa will pay PFD approximately $4,000 in interest annually on the $20,000 loan. Separately, PFD is working with another long-time partner, Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO), located in southern Edo State. LAPO, amongst its many community development activities, has operated a scholarship program for many years. In September 2014, PFD provided LAPO with $3,125 to fund ten girls with scholarships ranging from $220-500 each; those covered around 40-50% of a girl’s total cost to attend secondary school for a year. The range in scholarship size is needed because costs will vary by location and type of school (public or private). Thus, the separate loan to Gerewa of $20,000 serves as in effect a scholarship endowment, with annual scholarship funds being generated through the loan’s interest. Given interest rates on the loan and with one scholarship and attendant monitoring costs averaging $400, PFD can then provide an additional scholarship every time the endowment grows by $2000 beyond its initial $20,000 ($400/$2000=20%).



Past programs with a focus on economic empowerment include:

Growing Resources for Enhanced Agricultural Enterprises and Nutrition (GREEN)

Benin

The Growing Resources for the Enhanced Agricultural Enterprises and Nutrition (GREEN) project worked with Beninese farmers’ associations to train vegetable growers on how to increase the money they take home from their harvests through better growing techniques, through strategies to decrease spoilage between the field and the market, and through improving their understanding of market-driven production.

 

From November 2011 to July 2016, PfD implemented the USDA-funded Growing Resources for the Enhanced Agricultural Enterprises and Nutrition (GREEN) Project in six southern states in Benin: Atlantique, Littoral, Couffo, Mono, Oueme and Plateau. Through GREEN, PfD provided valuable training to over 7,300 agricultural producers and through increasing the farmers' net income, benefited 36,000 family members.

The GREEN project worked with Beninese farmers’ associations to train vegetable growers to increase the money they take home from their harvests through better growing techniques, through strategies to decrease spoilage between the field and the market, and through improving their understanding of market-driven production. Centered on tomatoes, peppers, and leafy greens, the trainings GREEN provided focused on improving water and soil resources, appropriate use of pesticides, dry season cultivation, and how to handle vegetables immediately after harvesting. GREEN worked with growers’ associations on marketing and business strategies to help them maximize their earnings potential as a group.

GREEN trained 7,390 agricultural producers in vegetable value chain theory, market assessments, and modern methods to improve agricultural production. As a result of PfD’s work, 97% of participating GREEN farmers now produce in response to what the market wants, and 95% of GREEN farmers have increased their vegetable production by an average of over 160% by increasing the number of cultivation cycles from two to three and four ties per year.  GREEN's final evaluation also showed, farmers increased their net income by over 220% and created over 8,600 seasonal jobs.


Alive & Thrive

Nigeria

In partnership with the University of North Carolina, PfD performed a 27-month pilot study in Bauchi State – the “Alive & Thrive” program -- aimed at integrating microfinance activities with health initiatives by using microfinance meetings as a platform to teach young and expectant mothers the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding – which includes greatly increasing an infant’s chances of survival. The activities included learning sessions, cell phone messages, and songs and dramas about the key messages. The authors of the study concluded that, over time, women who received the microcredit and behavior change messages were likely to continue breastfeeding, while women in the control group were more likely to switch their babies on to water and solid foods.

 

In partnership with the University of North Carolina, PfD performed a 27-month pilot study in Bauchi State – the Alive & Thriveprogram -- aimed at integrating microfinance activities with health initiatives. In Nigeria, fewer than 15% of infants under six months old are exclusively breastfed. By using microfinance meetings as a platform to teach young and expectant mothers the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding – whose benefits greatly increase an infant’s chances of survival – these vital lessons began to catch on. Findings from this study were published in the Journal of Nutrition, describing the benefits of pairing communal programming with educational messaging to produce positive results in new and lactating mothers opting to exclusively breastfeed newborns in their first 6 months of life.

PfD has carried out a microcredit and reproductive health program in four states in Nigeria for the last decade. Building on this experience, from May 2011 through August 2013, PfD and UNC conducted a cluster-randomized controlled trial in Bauchi State to test the effectiveness of a multi-component behavior change strategy to improve breastfeeding practices among microcredit borrowers. The intervention consisted of seven breastfeeding learning sessions held during monthly microcredit meetings, 11 cell phone breastfeeding messages (sent weekly as both text and voice), and songs and dramas about the key messages created by the participants themselves and presented at monthly meetings. The leader of the group was asked to share the weekly behavior change messages with group members, and the group had to create one song or drama per month.

The authors of the study concluded that, over time, the gap between the number of women in the experimental group and the number of women in the control group who were exclusively breastfeeding their babies only widened: as the babies got older, more and more women in the control group switched them on to water and solid foods, while women receiving microcredit and behavior change messages were likely to continue breastfeeding. The researchers concluded that “there were significant differences in exclusive breastfeeding to 3 and 6 months by study arm, and that the difference between the arms widened during this period shows that the intervention was successful at keeping more women in the intervention arm on track when Nigerian women typically introduce other fluids and complementary food to their infants (Flax et al 2014).”


Provision of Business Development Services to MSMEs in Kaduna State

Nigeria

PfD’s “Provision of Business Development Services to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Kaduna State” program trained small entrepreneurs in business development and built the capacity of a local microfinance institution (MFI) to continue these trainings, providing entrepreneurs with ongoing services and support.

 

Partners for Development (PfD) began implementing the “Provision of Business Development Services (BDS) to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in Kaduna state” in July 2008 with a grant of $130,000 for the first year of a three year project. The objective of the project was to enhance local to provide appropriate, effective and cost-effective business development services and support to over 1,000 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Kaduna state. The small entrepreneurs who took part in PfD’s trainings in Kaduna were mainly engaged in poultry farming, grain marketing, dairy processing and petty trading. The business development trainings were facilitated using the Business Skills Development Curriculum for non-agricultural MSMEs and the Nigeria Agricultural Enterprise Curriculum for agriculture related MSMEs. In addition to impacting entrepreneurs in Kaduna through BDS training and microfinance, PfD used this opportunity to strengthen its local MFI partner’s capacity to provide trainings itself. Since then, the local microfinance lender has become an important local provider of business development knowledge; in turn, the MFI has found that those entrepreneurs who have received BDS training are more likely to pay back their loans on schedule.


Integrated Agricultural Development Project 2

Bosnia & Herzegovina

With the Integrated Agricultural Development Project 2 (IADP), PfD aimed to contribute to the rehabilitation of agricultural markets by increasing the flow of information and number of competitive actors participating in these markets. PfD achieved this work by guiding the creation of local farmers’ associations, providing technical assistance and livestock to farming families, increasing trade through the establishment of border inspection posts, and providing technical assistance in support of broader policy changes.

 

The Integrated Agricultural Development Project (IADP) aimed to contribute to the rehabilitation of agricultural markets by increasing both the flow of information and the number of competitive actors participating in those markets. The IADP also worked to rebuild connections and trust between the government and private sector by advising policy as well as agriculture. PfD helped farmers rebuild Bosnia & Herzegovina’s agricultural markets by guiding the creation of three local farmers’ associations, as well as by providing technical assistance and gifts of livestock to over 450 farming families whose lives were turned upside down by the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.
The farmers associations’ established by PfD, known as the IFA, were professionally managed, financially sustainable, open to all community members, and democratically controlled by members. They covered multiple municipalities, crossing both city and ethnic lines and fostering regional economic cooperation. The IFA projects were jointly implemented with the municipal officials, citizens and farmers.
Finally, in cooperation with the UN Office of the High Representative, the IADP provided technical assistance in support of broader policy interventions, including:

  1. Providing financial and logistical support for community-based agricultural planning and extension services;
  2. Providing financial and logistical support for a livestock training/fair for approximately 1,000 farmers;
  3. Constructing a veterinary border inspection facility, along with necessary equipment for cross-border animal inspections and appropriate training for facility staff, in cooperation with the State Veterinary Office.


Expanding Access to Services for Agricultural Enterprises

Nigeria

PfD’s Expanding Access to Services for Agricultural Enterprises (EASE) project built the capacity of local community-based organizations to provide loans, business skills training, and targeted technical assistance to 11,000 farmers and processors of agricultural products working in small-scale agriculture. PfD provided guidance to local partner organizations on how to strengthen the entire targeted value chain by engaging with stakeholders at all levels, with a particular focus on women. An extension grant to EASE allowed PfD to extend financial inclusion, business development skills, and agricultural skills training to an additional 2,000 beneficiaries in Sokoto State.

 

In Nigeria, most rural families work in small-scale agriculture, either as a primary source of revenue or as a source of supple¬mental income, and they must face challenges of having limited access to credit, information, markets, and social services. With support from USAID, PfD’s “Expanded Access to Services for Agricultural Enterprise” (EASE) project has enabled local community-based organizations to provide loans, business skills training and targeted technical assistance to 11,000 farmers and processors of agricultural products. For this project, PfD provides guidance local partner organiza¬tions in how to strengthen targeted value chains by training these organizations on how to conduct workshops for value chain stakeholders. PfD builds capacity of its local partners so that they are able to provide business develop¬ment training and financial management services to farmers and other small business entrepreneurs.

PfD has a 12-year history working in Nigeria. Over this time, PfD has cultivated a strong network of partners. Implementing projects across this network—increasing the number and quality of services local organizations can offer through training-of-trainer programs and sustained engagement—both allows PfD to quickly scale-up its interventions and increases the sustainability of projects like EASE. Responding to the early success of EASE, in 2011, PfD won a $600,000 extension grant to expand services into Sokoto State in order to extend financial inclusion, business development skills (BDS), and agricultural skills to an additional 2,000 beneficiaries over 18 months (by the end of the program, EASE reached 2,413 individuals in Sokoto).

14 of the 15 local partner organizations PfD collaborated with in EASE’s implementation focus on the advancement of women and children’s well-being. PfD helped these organizations expand their services into microfinance, increasing the opportunities for financial inclusion for women in the conflict-affected, culturally conservative states in which EASE operated. Overall, 77% of EASE’s total 16,539 beneficiaries of BDS training were women. PfD’s technical trainings were so popular that more than twice the number of people expected sought tailored agricultural sector technical assistance; ultimately, 1,217 beneficiaries received training in crop production, diversification, processing, and storage, as well as training in organic farming and the careful use of agro-inputs, depending on their needs. In terms of microfinance success, 7,137 borrowers leveraged $1,319,438 worth of microfinance loan capital over the life of the project, as successful repayment allowed PfD’s partners to continuously relend their original funds.


Employment Opportunities for People living with HIV/AIDS in Nasarawa State

Nigeria

As part of its work with the Family Health Care Initiative (FAHCI) in Nasarawa State, Nigeria, PfD worked to offer livelihoods opportunities for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Many of these people are stigmatized due to their HIV/AIDS positive status and cannot gain employment as manual labor may jeopardize their health and they may not have skills to seek other forms of employment. For this project, PfD launched a vocational skills training center for PLWHA with trainings on fashion design and interior decorating, and the creation of microfinance opportunities to support PLWHA in their business endeavors.

 

As a part of PfD’s work with the Family Health Care Initiative (FAHCI) in Nasarawa State, Nigeria in 2004-2005, it became evident that almost 100 individuals supported by FAHCI were struggling with the social impacts of their HIV/AIDS-positive status: manual labor could severely jeopardize their health, but they lacked the skills to support themselves in jobs that didn’t require it. In 2006, with support from the Embassy of the Netherlands, PfD launched a vocational skills training program for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).

The goal of the project was to empower PLWHA with income generating skills to make them economically self-reliant, as well as to increase their self-esteem. The main mechanisms for creating this change were:

  1. the establishment of a vocational skills training center for PLWHA;
  2. training PLWHA on fashion design and interior decorating (the skills most requested in consultation);
  3. the creation of a sustainable source of credit to support PLWHA in their business endeavors.

The project was an overwhelming success, creating the following outcomes:

  1. Local expertise in design: Two PLWHA were sent for training of trainers’ course on fashion designing/interior decorations at Mashiah Foundation in Jos. They have been employed to manage the skills acquisition center and have provided same training to 46 PLWHA (far more than the 15 that were proposed).
  2. Stronger local microfinance institutions: PfD helped FAHCI learn to manage a revolving loan fund to provide credit to 15 PLWHA targeted in the project proposal. Technical assistance was provided in the areas of pre-loan training to intended loan beneficiaries and management of the micro credit program (including loan recovery; supervision of loan officers; credit program reporting; delinquency; and default management).
  3. Sustainable micro-credit: FAHCI conducted pre-loan training to 46 PLWHA during the project period and provided loans to establish various business ventures in their communities. This component of program has a loan portfolio of 150,000 Niara provided loans to 46 PLWHA, each receiving an average of 5,000 Naira.
  4. Sustainable skills training opportunities: The established skills acquisition training center now provides skills training not only to PLWHA, but also to other vulnerable community members. Beyond fashion designing and interior decorations, trainings are also provided in other vocations like making of handicrafts (beads, mats, etc.); dying of local fabrics; etc. This has not only helped sustain the skills acquisition center, but also increased income generating skills for community members especially women and youth. FAHCI has also used the opportunity of these trainings to deliver health messages particularly those related to HIV/AIDS to trainees.


Jatropha Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative

Tanzania

PfD’s Jatropha Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative (JANI) provided a wide range of agricultural skills trainings and opportunities for rural communities, expanding the cultivation and processing of Jatropha (a plant the seeds of which can be used for bio-diesel, soap making, cooking oil and pellet fuel for cookstoves) in 18 districts across Tanzania. Through collaboration with local partners, JANI improved vulnerable agricultural communities’ food security by diversifying and increasing household income, strengthening local capacity, and improving food security.

 

PfD’s USDA-funded JANI (Jatropha Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative) provided a wide range of agricultural skills trainings and opportunities for rural communities during its five-year run, which ended in 2013. Through this $7 million Food For Progress initiative, PfD expanded the cultivation and processing of Jatropha curcus in 18 districts of eight regions in the North, Central and Lake Zones of Tanzania. Jatropha is a renewable energy source that can be processed into cooking oil and into pellet fuel for new, locally manufactured, clean-burning cookstoves, known as Jiko Bomba stoves, which PfD developed and marketed in cooperation with local manufacturers. Improving the availability of clean-burning fuel and stoves not only reduces the need for families to cut wood from Tanzania’s depleted forests: cleaner burning fuels also improve indoor air quality, the leading cause of respiratory illness in women and children in sub-Saharan Africa. Jatropha also serves as a valuable hedgerow for family enclosures, and jatropha-oil can be made into soap.

Through PfD’s signature integrated programming approach—involving agricultural extension, nutrition education, livestock vaccinations, enterprise development, and creating market linkages—JANI improved vulnerable agricultural communities’ food security by achieving the following core objectives in Tanzania:

  • Diversifying and increasing household income with jatropha cultivation through training in the cultivation and processing of jatropha and by creating market linkages between farmers and buyers of jatropha seed and oil.
  • Strengthening local capacity to promote jatropha by strengthening capacities of local extension agents, implementing entities and local outreach organisations working with PfD to promote cultivation, processing and sale of jatropha oil with smallholder farmers.
  • Improving food security and nutrition for jatropha farming households through community nutrition education campaigns and technical assistance in household food production.

Through collaboration with 13 local partners, PfD trained over 42,000 farmers in Jatropha cultivation and processing, distributed over 1 million jatropha seedlings, and sold no less than 59 tons of jatropha seed. Demand for jatropha pellets for improved cookstoves now exceeds supply.


Integrated Agricultural Development Program 1

Bosnia & Herzegovina

With the The Integrated Agricultural Development Project 1 (IADP), PfD aimed to contribute to the rehabilitation of agricultural markets which were destabilized by ongoing conflict by leveraging microfinance, technical expertise in agriculture, and institutional capacity building. PfD worked with local farmers’ cooperative to create a national raspberry industry, established producers associations, and developed a partnership with UPI Bank to administer a line of credit to members of these associations. Thus, local farmers gained increased access to information, markets, and credit. The program was expanded in 1999, 2000, and 2001, ultimately benefiting 3,000 members of two small farm co-ops.

 

Bosnia & Herzegovina’s markets were deeply destabilized by the decade-long war in Yugoslavia during the 1990s, and many rural families struggled to gain the credit, inputs, and services needed to put their farms back on sound footing. PfD began the Integrated Agricultural Development (IADP) program in 1998 with assistance from the USDA to put Bosnia & Herzegovina’s agricultural markets back on sure footing. PfD leveraged microfinance, technical expertise in agriculture, and the organization’s experience rebuilding local institutional capacity in post-conflict settings to achieve this objective.

PfD worked directly with local farmers’ cooperatives to create a national raspberry industry, providing ongoing assistance with fertilizer use, pesticide use, irrigation systems, and other specific topics related to the care and cultivation of raspberries to promote success for this high-value crop. Raspberries grow wild in Bosnia & Herzegovina, and were widely prized but not widely available in major population centers until the 2000s. To preserve the country’s wild raspberry stocks while promoting cultivated fruits for national consumption and export, the IADP emphasized sustainable raspberry collection and harvesting practices and the cultivation of domesticated berries. PfD used this opportunity to educate farmers on ethical wild harvesting, developing an “atlas” of medicinal and aromatic herbs and wild berries that stresses sustainable harvest practices. Endangered plants were specially marked. This atlas was distributed widely to farmers and other wild harvesters throughout the region.

To promote growth and financial viability among the farms in the IFA producers associations, PfD developed a partnership with UPI Bank to administer a line of credit specifically for IFA members. The loans enabled IFA members to expand a wide range of agricultural production activities: it enabled the purchase of machinery, grain milling equipment and animal fodder, and cows for dairy farms; it supported bee keeping and other sectors such as vegetable production, and herb and spice collection, and allowed farmers to expand their land holdings. PfD and UPI Bank later created a line of credit specifically for raspberry growers, an intiative that drew buy-in from some of Bosnia’s largest national food processors. The credit program has facilitated PfD market linkage activities, including joint purchasing and organized cultivation.

The IFA members who participated in the IADP’s credit program have been able to diversify their agriculture activities and lower their vulnerability to volatile markets, as well as to build capital and expand their businesses.


Rural Community Development Program in Nigeria through Agricultural Productivity Training and Microfinance for Access to Markets

Nigeria

Three-pronged approach provided rural communities with improved roads, training in agricultural production and processing, and microfinance to improve agricultural markets and rural livelihoods.

 

Over 80% of the world’s poorest people still live in remote rural areas, far from markets where they can sell what they produce from the land. From 2000 – 2010, PfD led a major rural community development program across rural parts of Benue, Bauchi, Nassarawa, Kaduna, and Edo states. With support from the USDA and the Pitcairn Foundation, the program improved rural families’ access to markets through a combination of infrastructure improvements and microfinance services. In the first year alone, the program issued $350,000 in microloans (mainly to women) and paved seven major roads—providing market access to 225,000 people in remote, rural communities.

This was the logic: Technical trainings in agricultural production and processing would help farmers produce better; better access to markets would give them better income and a reason to expand their production; and microfinance would give them the capital to expand. This would not only benefit rural households economically, but create more robust and stable rural economies, and improve financial inclusion among some of Nigeria’s most hard-to-reach populations.

Banks are often unwilling to provide loans to farmers for two major reasons: first, without crop insurance, a farmer’s ability to repay even a small loan could be devastated by the loss of an entire crop due to any number of natural hazards; second, banks usually expect repayment to begin in less time than it takes to grow, harvest, and sell most crops. To correct this problem, PfD collaborated with its local microfinance partners to develop two agricultural loan products—an agricultural production loan and an agricultural processing loan—and trained local microfinance institutions (MFIs) to help them them minimize the risks associated with providing credit for agricultural activities.


Translate »