FTF Strengthening Value Chains Project, Democratic Republic of the Congo
In South Kivu Province, JAA has worked with public and private stakeholders to build and strengthen partnerships that enable markets and trade to flourish.
The Network of Coffee and Cacao Producer Cooperatives (RCPCA) has emerged as an apex body for the coffee sector, channeling the advocacy and lobbying efforts on behalf of the member cooperatives. SVC facilitated workshops on strategic planning and advocacy for members of the network’s steering committee and facilitated the RCPCA’s lobbying efforts for the creation of the National Agricultural Development Fund (FONADA) and discussions held with Provincial and National authorities. SVC assisted RCPCA in successfully lobbying the National Minister of Trade to abolish a decree requiring express authorization of the Minister for any export operation of green coffee from Eastern Congo and requiring a payment of $1,000 per container of coffee for export. Now the network’s leadership is regularly consulted by the Agriculture Minister and Central Government on agriculture issues. With SVC support, RCPCA, collaborating with the national coffee agency, ONAPAC, and other private sector actors, has developed and seen adopted by the government, a provincial coffee strategy to improve production, promote investment, exports, and improve the business enabling environment in the coffee value chain.
Public-private Agreement between ACT and Provincial Trade Ministry
Cross-border trade in local products, particularly beans and soybeans, plays an important economic role in trade between the DRC and Rwanda. This exchange is carried out by small cross-border traders who are members of the Association of Cross-Border Traders (ACT).
SVC helped ACT and the Foreign Trade Division of the Provincial Ministry of Commerce to conclude an agreement to: identify pilot markets, conduct sensitization on taxes to be paid by sellers of beans, soybeans, and other local products, structure associations of women vendors, and put them in touch so that they can better negotiate prices and come together in the supply of products; help sellers to organize themselves into a member association to better develop the bean and soybean value chain. ACT has successfully advocated to authorities to reduce taxes, fees, and other levies, increasing member incomes.
INERA and UCB
SVC provided technical support for the establishment of a public-private partnership agreement between INERA, a public research institution, and UCB (the Catholic University of Bukavu) which is a private university. This collaboration focuses on the study of different coffee production systems, adaptation, and dissemination of good varieties of coffee. At this stage, UCB and INERA have set up experimental fields in which the various, different production systems, are being studied. Variety dissemination will be undertaken by the two institutions in collaboration with ONAPAC during FY21.
CCPA and CARG
The Government established the Provincial Consultative Council of Agriculture as a framework for public and private consultation on all questions relating to agriculture in the province, and the Agricultural Council of Management in decentralized territorial entities. JAA provided support to the CARGs, which are today an essential platform for public sector actors on agricultural issues in the centralized territorial entities of these three territories. The CARGs set up with the support of the SVC project the market information systems in the six markets of the three territories in collaboration with the heads of the decentralized territorial entities of these three territories.
The absence of national seed legislation and public-private seed platform for consultation on seed issues are challenges for the seed sector in DRC in general, and South Kivu in particular. The Provincial Seed Council (COPROSEM) will be a solution to the development of the seed sector in the South Kivu province, acting as a platform to promote the sector’s activities and ensure the protection of the seed sector’s stakeholders. SVC is supporting the process of establishing the platform, facilitating discussion around challenges and opportunities, and presenting the role of the platform in promoting the seed sector in South Kivu province. A decree to establish COPROSEM as a public-private structure is pending with the Provincial Governor.
JAA, as subcontractor to Tetra Tech, leads the Policy and Enabling Environment component of the 5-year USAID-Democratic Republic of the Congo Feed the Future: Strengthening Value Chains project. Learn more about Congolese coffee growers and the journey their coffee takes from seed to cup here.
Photo by Jen Peterson, Tetra Tech