The DRC is the third largest country in Africa after Sudan and Algeria. It stretches from the Atlantic to the East African Rift plateau. It includes the major part of the Congo River basin. Crossed by the equator, it has a warm and humid climate in the region of the river basin, and a drier and cooler climate in the south. The DRC counts 64 million inhabitants.
N2Africa works in two out of the twenty-six provinces in DRC: North and South Kivu. In total the project covers twenty-six action sites across various agro-ecological zones: mountains and valleys with large differences in soil types – from highly weathered, nutrient depleted clays to extremely fertile slopes of recent volcanic origin susceptible to extreme erosion.
N2Africa’s exit strategies in DRC are centered around the soya value chain through the following initiatives:
The focus in this initiative is to further collaboration with youth agripreneurs such as the IKYA/UPSKI and small soyabean producers. These partners are grouped and linked to big processing plants such as Centre Olame and Maizeking in South and North. Centre Olame and Maizeking provide the farmers with good-quality seed, ensuring a good-quality soyabean product to process.
Four youth organizations active in the soya agribusiness decided to build a consortium: the Youth Agripreneurs Soya Value Chain. This collaboration will strengthen soyabean production and processing. Each organization brings something different to the table:
A sustainable input supply for soyabean will be ensured as follows:
Farmer groups will continue to sell in their shops small-quantity input packages of 1 to 5 kg. For instance farmer groups IA Zuki (in Nduba) and Rusimane (in Miti) sell packages with 3 kg of soyabean seed and 2 kg NPK fertilizer and 10 g inoculant.
Private-sector seed companies AGRIFORCE and Shalom, and bio-fertilizer company LOBIKO are gathered in local business networks to bring the sellers closer to farmers. New small input shops were set up so that inputs are available to every farmer group.
N2Africa facilitated in the soya value chain mainly by linking soyabean farmers together and through capacity building on the topic of market access and marketing. A strong network will ensure continuity.
Jeanmarie Sanginga, Country Coordinator DRCi