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Pennsylvania Ag News Headlines
USAID Announces Partnership to Boost the Market for Locally Grown Rice
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 03/01/2024

The U.S. Government (USG), through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), announced a new partnership with a private sector firm, La Différence, operating in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This partnership is focused on increasing and improving linkages between private firms and smallholder farmers to support a more competitive agricultural sector in the DRC.

La Différence is a Congolese business accelerator and advisor, focused on market development, located in North and South Kivu, with offices in Goma and Bukavu, respectively. La Différence provides services such as training, business acceleration for existing entrepreneurs, as well as market access support. This partnership is expected to accelerate the creation of local, organic, and premium-quality rice, haricot beans, and soybeans for local consumption. The local market is currently inundated with imported products due to insufficient organization along these value chains, in addition to consumer preferences for higher quality goods.

Through this partnership, it is anticipated that consumer confidence will significantly improve, thanks to the quality and consistency of locally-produced rice, haricot beans, and soybeans. Overall, it is expected that this will result in reduced imports and strengthening of local supply chain coordination. Under this two-year partnership, La Différence will leverage approximately $507,000 in USG and private sector funding combined.

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