April 21, 2024

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USAID Announces Partnership to Boost the Market for Locally Grown Rice in Eastern DRC

WASHINGTON D.C. – The U.S. Government (USG), through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), announced a new partnership with a private sector firm, La Différence, operating in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This partnership is focused on increasing and improving linkages between private firms and smallholder farmers to support a more competitive agricultural sector in the DRC.

La Différence is a Congolese business accelerator and advisor, focused on market development, located in North and South Kivu, with offices in Goma and Bukavu, respectively.

La Différence provides services such as training, business acceleration for existing entrepreneurs, as well as market access support. This partnership is expected to accelerate the creation of local, organic, and premium-quality rice, haricot beans, and soybeans for local consumption. The local market is currently inundated with imported products due to insufficient organization along these value chains, in addition to consumer preferences for higher quality goods.

Through this partnership, it is anticipated that consumer confidence will significantly improve, thanks to the quality and consistency of locally-produced rice, haricot beans, and soybeans. Overall, it is expected that this will result in reduced imports and strengthening of local supply chain coordination. Under this two-year partnership, La Différence will leverage approximately $507,000 in USG and private sector funding combined.

This partnership is implemented by the Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships (MSP) Activity as part of USAID/DRC’s Market Access Partnership Facility. The USAID MSP Facility works with private sector partners to pilot innovative solutions that can help businesses overcome bottlenecks currently inhibiting agricultural-led growth, and to strengthen the supply chain for products that need sourcing. It increases the number and quality of business connections between micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), producers, and agribusinesses such as traders, aggregators, transporters, and sellers. The purpose is to reduce poverty and strengthen the DRC’s economic competitiveness and inclusiveness.

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