Improving Economies for Stronger Communities (IESC)
2000 M Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
Get the latest news from IESC, delivered straight to your inbox.
Kenya’s Council of Governors adopts the CAP YEI and F2F youth access to finance and workforce development interventions in all 47 counties
In March 2023, the Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Kenya program and Community and Progress Youth Empowerment Institute (CAP YEI) achieved a significant milestone: the Government of Kenya signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with CAP YEI to replicate the youth agriculture and agri-enterprise technical…
F2F volunteers rescue a community bank from financial instability by helping to reduce the bank’s non-performing loan ratio
Mufindi Community Bank PLC (MuCoBa) was established in 1998 to provide financial services to low-income and self-employed people in Tanzania. By providing affordable and favorable loan terms and conditions to the underserved people of the Mufindi and neighboring districts, MuCoBa fills a gap in access to finance for…
IESC Volunteers Support Kenyan Dairy Cooperative to Survive and Thrive Despite Drought Conditions
The ongoing drought in Kenya is the longest the country has experienced in at least 40 years, an effect of the evolving climate crisis. The current drought has left an estimated 4.1 million Kenyans food insecure. According to the Agriculture Ministry, over 1.5 million livestock have been reported dead and many smallholder dairy farmers have lost…
IESC F2F Volunteers Support Amana Bank to Target Needs of Agricultural Lenders and Borrowers in Tanzania
The USAID and U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) guarantee supports financial institutions to increase their agricultural lending activities by covering outstanding principals on qualifying defaulted loans to borrowers in the agricultural value chain, with a focus on women and youth borrowers. This USAID/DFC guarantee…
Tanzania is blessed with 44 million acres of arable land and genial climate for agriculture. More than 45% of the country’s population is comprised of energetic youths and the future of Tanzania’s agriculture sector lies with them; their participation in the sector could lead to increased productivity, stronger food security, and job creation.
Johannes John, chairperson of Sasa…read more
HOW F2F VOLUNTEERS SUPPORTED SAMLI DAIRY COOPERATIVE TO TRANSFORM THE LIVES OF MAASAI WOMEN
Josephine did not consider rearing dairy cows as a business opportunity until she teamed up with her neighbors in Emali, Kenya. It is the culture of the Maasai to value the cow more than the milk it produces. Like many Maasai women in Emali, all she wanted was a cow that could produce enough milk for her six children.
Through the USAID-funded…read more
IESC F2F VOLUNTEERS STRENGTHEN FARMER GROUPS IN TANZANIA TO HELP THEM POOL THEIR SKILLS AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND TAKE MEASURES TO IMPROVE THEIR QUALITY OF LIFE
Tanzania’s agriculture sector employs over 75% of the total population and has the potential to reduce poverty, create jobs, and increase food security for Tanzanians. However, many of the opportunities within the agriculture sector remain largely uncultivated for youth and women…
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is ‘breaking the bias’. The theme is about working towards a diverse world, one free of stereotypes and discrimination, that is equitable and inclusive. IESC’s Farmer-to-Farmer program (F2F) in Kenya is celebrating one of our hosts, the Emuka Moringa Farmers’ Cooperative (EMFC) – a cooperative with a majority membership of women pastoralists and crop farmers, focused on growing moringa, which is…read more
Earlier this month, the global USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Program celebrated the resiliency and unwavering dedication of its volunteers in a new and exciting way. This year’s annual F2F Volunteer of the Year awards were presented to one volunteer pair from each implementing partner organization to show our gratitude for their outstanding work. The award announcements took place over a two-week period leading up to International…read more
Youth between the ages of 15 and 35 comprise 67% of the Tanzanian labor force. This group has the potential to make significant contributions to agriculture and food production as well as drive positive change within their communities and beyond. To further unlock this potential, the USAID-funded IESC Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Access to Finance Program addresses challenges and barriers in the agro-financing ecosystem to support youth in Tanzania….read more
F2F volunteers support bank to target needs of agricultural lenders and borrowers
Since its establishment in 2007, AccessBank Tanzania (ABT) has strived to become one of the leading providers of financial services in the country. ABT’s services target the needs of lower- and middle-income individuals and businesses, including those engaged in agriculture production in rural areas of the country. To become a leader and meet the needs of its…
Traceability System Helps Ghanaian Farmers Reach Export Markets
Faced with an export ban on five vegetable products starting in 2015 and increasing rejections of fresh fruit and vegetable shipments to the European Union, Ghana set a goal: meet internationally recognized food safety standards so that Ghanaian products can compete in international markets. One of the major challenges facing Ghana was the inability to effectively trace products…read more
IESC F2F Volunteer Expert Supports Youth Cooperative to Strategically and Sustainably Manage Youth-Support Programs
Sokoine University Graduate Entrepreneurs Cooperative (SUGECO), a youth cooperative located in Morogoro, provides critical services to youth throughout Tanzania. SUGECO trains out-of-school and out-of-job youth and provides Tanzanian youth from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds with in-country short field assignments as well as…
F2F Volunteer Improves Financing Opportunities and Unlocks Capital for Rural Farmers to Improve Production and Increase Incomes
Although the area around Usangu basin in the Mbeya region of Tanzania is well known for its suitability for rice paddies, farmers like 31-year old Atanas Kikwembe were unable to maximize their production and improve their livelihoods. Atanas farmed for ten years in Ubaraku village Mbarali district on five to ten…read more
A Strategic Plan Developed by a F2F Volunteer Helped Dairy Farmers to Thrive During Global PandemicF2F volunteer Bruce Lachney and the cooperative’s manager, Mr. Benard King’oo, overlook dairy procedures.
The global COVID-19 pandemic had an immediate impact on most rural farming households and communities in Kenya. Many farmers lost access to finance, farm inputs…read more