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DuPont and USAID in food security deal

Ethiopia maize fields. Picture courtesy of World Vision.
Ethiopia maize fields. Picture courtesy of World Vision.

DuPont and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) have announced an agreement to extend its Advanced Maize Seed Adoption Programme and improve global food security. 

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by James Borel, DuPont executive vice president, and Rajiv Shah, USAID administrator at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

The Advanced Maize Seed Adoption Programme (AMSAP) was launched in 2013 with the Government of Ethiopia to increase productivity of smallholder farmers and improve strength of maize production (maize value chain). It will impact about 35,000 farmers.

Ghana and Zambia in 2014

As outlined in the MOU, DuPont and USAID now want to scale up initiatives to include Ghana, Zambia, India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Mexico. 

A similar maize value chain program will be implemented next in Ghana and we are looking at Zambia as well in 2014,” Lystra Antoine, global director, agriculture development, DuPont Pioneer, told FoodQualityNews.com

In the past year, farmers who are involved in the AMSAP program will more than triple their yield,” Antoine added.

DuPont says the agreement is a ‘significant milestone’ in its commitment to food security, which includes product innovation, educating youth and improving livelihoods of farmers.

Targeting smallholders

In much of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, smallholders account for the largest share of agricultural output. 

Smallholder farmers – those of less than two hectares of land, account for more than 80% of all farms and they are challenged to feed themselves and to produce enough surplus to lift themselves out of poverty,” said Antoine. 

Smallholder farmers are also a major share of the world’s malnourished people. They cannot be ignored if we are to nutritiously feed 10bn people by 2050 and remove the incidence of extreme hunger on our planet before then.

Smallholders face myriad problems that all relate to access:  access to technology, credit, inputs, markets, and infrastructure.

DuPont has been working on products, materials, and services since 1802.  The company claims that collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and leaders can alleviate global challenges. 

DuPont Pioneer develops and supplies plant genetics.

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