DAVOS, Switzerland—The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today with Ethiopia and DuPont to boost maize harvests through increased use of hybrid maize seed, improved seed distribution, and post-harvest storage.
Maize is a significant contributor to Ethiopia’s economic and social development, providing jobs, income and food. This collaboration will help more than 30,000 smallholder maize farmers increase their productivity by up to 50 percent and help reduce post-harvest loss of maize by as much as 20 percent.
This collaboration advances agricultural development and food security goals set by the Government of Ethiopia and supported by USAID through the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future, which is part of the U.S. contribution to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition.
“Investing in smallholder farmers remains the key to unlocking agricultural growth and transforming economies,” said USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah.
DuPont signed a Letter of Intent to work with Ethiopia as part of the G-8 New Alliance. Since pledging to work with Ethiopia in May 2012, DuPont has increased the number of smallholder farmers it will help from 16,000 to 32,000. This private sector investment in agriculture development will help advance sustainable food security.
“Ensuring people everywhere have enough food to eat will require sustainable, local solutions and collaboration at new levels,” said James C. Borel, Executive Vice President of DuPont. “The USAID and DuPont collaboration with the Government of Ethiopia marks a significant step forward toward improved productivity of Ethiopian maize farmers through enhanced agronomic practices and inputs.”
The signing of this MOU marks an important step for each of the partners in implementation of commitments they made as part of the G-8 New Alliance to work toward the goals of expanding agriculture production, raising the incomes of poor farmers, and helping lift 50 million people in Africa out of poverty over the next 10 years. It also highlights their strong commitment to improve food security in Ethiopia under the leadership of the Ethiopian government.
Announced by President Obama at the 2012 G-8 Summit, the New Alliance is a unique association between African governments, G-8 members, and the private sector to work together to accelerate investments in agriculture to improve productivity, livelihoods and food security for smallholder farmers. DuPont will invest more than $3 million over the next three years to help improve productivity of smallholder farmers in Ethiopia, which will lead to their enhanced ability to produce nutritious food for their families and communities.
Feed the Future is the United States’ contribution to this global effort. Feed the Future supports countries in developing their own agriculture sectors to generate opportunities for economic growth and trade, particularly for smallholder farmers, many of whom are women.
Feed the Future has already helped 1.8 million food producers adopt improved technologies or management practices that can lead to more resilient crops, higher yields, and increased incomes. The initiative, led by USAID, has also reached nearly 9 million children through nutrition programs, which can prevent and treat under nutrition and improve child survival.
This press release originally appeared on the USAID website.