The USAID Democratic Republic of Congo Strengthening Value Chains Activity (SVC) has taken a market systems approach to helping communities to re-establish a market economy, increasing economic opportunity strengthening agricultural entrepreneurship in the coffee, bean, and soybean value chains. JAA partnered with prime contractor TetraTech to implement the 5-year program, which worked in four territories of the South Kivu Province – Walungu, Kalehe, Kabare, and Idjwi.
Over the last five years, SVC has partnered with cooperatives, producer organizations (POs), trader associations, and apex associations and lead firms to implement and scale market-focused pilot programs, improve access to market information, develop capacities, and increase opportunities for youth and women.
At the project outset, JAA conducted a highly innovative, value chain and market systems focused political economy analysis, which guided SVC’s approaches and implementation, integrating competitiveness and development themes. Throughout the project, JAA led activities that improve advocacy and public-private collaboration, addressed constraints in the enabling environment, built the capacities of cooperatives, producer organizations, and associations in the three value chains, increased cross-border trade in soya and beans, and developed the competitiveness of the coffee sector.
JAA also helped guide actors in the coffee sector on producing a well-benchmarked competitiveness and development strategy for the South Kivu high-value coffee sector. This private sector-led initiative addresses issues of productivity, investment, processing, and market development. The strategy received support and buy-in at the provincial level, then was formally approved at the national level. In addition, the strategy is being promoted by ONAPAC (the government organization responsible for oversight of the coffee sector) and the Ministry of Agriculture as a model for the entire country. A key objective of SVC, JAA promoted arrangements for an implementation of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in South Kivu. This work also attracted national attention, and was presented at a national PPP conference.
Recognizing that Eastern Congo and South Kivu, in particular, is a unique environment in terms of its landlocked geography, development context, ongoing security challenges, and recent economic history, JAA is conducting two capstone studies:
- An update of the 2018 political economy analysis, providing a learning tool that examines the impact of SVC and other evolutions in the political economy during the Activity’s implementation.
- A resilience analysis, examining the impact that SVC’s partner organizations have had in enabling their communities to increase their resilience in the face of several shocks that have affected the territories – Ebola, COVID, a volcanic eruption, and the Ukraine conflict.