Eugenia Saini is currently FONTAGRO’s Executive Secretary. FONTAGRO is the Regional Fund for Agricultural Technology. She leads the investment fund and a portfolio of 70 international operations related to science, technology, and innovation for the Latin America and the Caribbean region. She is from Argentina and is an agronomist by training. She holds a doctorate in agricultural sciences, specializing in total factor productivity analysis. One of her seminal works in this field was the estimation of 120 years of TFP for the agricultural sector in Argentina. She is also a National Public Accountant and holds an MS in Food and Agribusiness and an MS in Applied Economics, both from Universidad de Buenos Aires. She has worked in the private and public sectors, both nationally and internationally, especially in multilateral banks. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship at Cornell University and, more recently, with the Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy (AILA) Scholarship at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C.
Enriching the Lives of 400,000 Smallholder Farmers by Improving Market Systems
October 15, 2019
Last year, around 820 million people went hungry around the globe. Africa is the hot spot, with undernourishment reaching nearly 20 percent of the continent’s population. To address the challenge of global hunger, companies such as Corteva Agriscience™ are collaborating with governments and NGOs to advance technologies and innovations which strengthen smallholder farmer market systems.
These collaborations align with Corteva’s purpose statement: Enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume to ensure progress for generations to come.
Corteva collaborates with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on its global hunger and food security initiative called Feed the Future (FtF). Corteva and USAID are part of a powerful and diverse coalition setting out to end global hunger, poverty, and malnutrition by focusing efforts in select countries. The method centers on developing programs for food systems in key food-producing regions. In the geographic pockets where applied, it’s proven very effective.
In Tanzania, for example, Corteva and the international development nonprofit organization ACDI/VOCA have come together on the USAID FtF Tanzania Staples Value Chain (NAFAKA) II: Cereals Market System Development project to enrich the lives of 400,000 smallholder farmers over the next three years. Together, they are strengthening the smallholder farmer market system in rural areas by increasing access to high quality seed and crop protection technologies, improving agricultural practices, facilitating market linkages, and increasing farmers’ access to credit.
The project builds on the USAID FtF NAFAKA I activity, which developed scalable models for technological innovation. Throughout the duration of USAID FtF NAFAKA II, Corteva and ACDI/VOCA will intensify outreach to a larger number of actors, primarily women and youth in the rice and maize market systems, since rice and maize are important staple food crops in Tanzania.
The result? Smallholder farmers increase their productivity. Higher yields mean higher incomes for these farmers; and higher incomes mean the lives of farmers and their communities are enriched through increased food security, improved nutrition, and better access to health and education, ensuring progress for generations to come.