IDG takes a comprehensive, multi-dimensional approach to the complex problem of food security, focusing at the levels of households, farms and other agricultural entities, local and national governments, and civil society organizations. Food security solutions must be market-based to be sustainable but also must ensure a broad reduction in risks for households along the entire vulnerable end of the income distribution. Strategies should aim at increasing productivity of subsistence farmers, raising the competitiveness of value chains, widening trade and distribution, strengthening agriculture finance, and giving households the skills they need to plan nutrition, manage their resources, and mitigate the risks they face.
IDG works on the following areas:
- Introducing technologies to increase agricultural productivity at the farm and processing levels.
- Decreasing post-harvest losses.
- Strengthening market linkages, bringing more small farmers into the cash economy, and linking medium and larger farmers to national and international markets.
- Helping households and communities improve risk management techniques to mitigate shocks.
- Assisting the more efficient and broader provision of finance in rural areas.
- Teaching nutrition, and helping families plan for producing or acquiring a wider diversity of foods.
- Linking nutrition and food security programs into innovative health assistance networks.
- Strengthening local institutions.
- Utilizing existing social networks to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge and skills to vulnerable households.
- Teaching better hygiene.
- Introducing low-cost innovative technologies for food production, storage, and preparation.
- Addressing gender issues among households and agricultural value chains, to facilitate greater focus on nutrition in household expenditure, investment and employment decisions.
Liberia Vision 2020 Corridors Development Project: In Liberia, IDG completed a project aimed at identifying both agricultural and non-agricultural growth opportunities along two growth corridors. This work entailed extensive agriculture assessment in rural Liberia including a rigorous Domestic Resource Cost Study of three value chains (cocoa, rice and oil-palm) to examine the financial and economic profitability. This was followed by the design of 15 high impact project proposal design, of which 8 involved the agriculture sector. In summary, the eight projects involved support to Cocoa and Oilpalm Farmers’ Associations (in production, processing and marketing), vegetable production, vanilla production and processing, a livestock feed mill producing layer’s mash, a fruit juice preservation and packaging plant, and a community radio soap opera for extension purposes.
Azerbaijan Competitiveness and Trade Project: IDG's project in Azerbaijan features a major agriculture component aimed at strengthening value chains by increasing productivity and access to finance and markets by working with producers, processors, and associations. Through the ACT Project and in close coordination with local organizations, IDG is helping to simplify regulations for starting a business in agriculture, as well as advising producers in several value chains (including poultry, aquaculture, and hazelnuts) on improved productivity and export opportunities.
Evaluation of USAID's MARKETS Project: In Nigeria, IDG conducted a mid-term evaluation of the Maximizing Agricultural Revenue and Key Enterprises in Targeted Sites projects (MARKETS) program which aimed to increase Nigeria’s agribusiness competitiveness and food security by providing services and leveraging resources to address value chain constraints and deliver products to market more effectively.
Agribusiness Export Promotion: IDG’s technical assistance for agribusinesses in Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay led to improved quality and export reliability. The project’s scope included growing requirements, packing, grading, packaging, transportation, cold storage and warehousing, financing, and marketing of Latin American products in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.