WASHINGTON, U.S. – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced the Feed the Future Partnership for Sustainable Supply Chains, a new collaboration with Root Capital, Keurig Dr Pepper, and Ezrah Charitable Trust to help small agricultural businesses around the world stay afloat during the pandemic of COVID-19 and rebuild in its wake. The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) will complement the partnership with a $35 million loan guarantee.
Government-imposed measures to contain COVID-19 have hit small businesses especially hard. The Feed the Future Partnership for Sustainable Supply Chains will help small agribusinesses, particularly those owned or led by women in Latin America, Africa and Asia, navigate operational uncertainties and limited connectivity to markets through business advice, debt relief and a resilience grant fund.
With this financial support, businesses can continue to serve, and buy from, vulnerable smallholder farmers in their communities, including those who grow food crops, coffee, cocoa, soy, and vanilla.
Small and growing businesses in the agriculture sector are the backbone of emerging economies and provide a pathway out of poverty for smallholder farmers.
As the pandemic threatens their access to markets, revenue, and ability to create employment and contribute to global supply-chains, it puts the livelihoods of entire rural communities at risk.
Through the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative, USAID, the DFC, and partners around the world are helping communities respond to COVID-19’s economic shocks and become more resilient.
This new effort expands a long-standing partnership between USAID, Root Capital, and Keurig Dr Pepper that started in 2013 to support smallholder farmers amid the crisis caused by coffee leaf rust in Central America.
By building on this existing relationship, the partnership was able to mobilize quickly to respond to the dynamic impact of COVID-19. It added Ezrah Charitable Trust, a new USAID partner, and not only will support businesses in the current environment but also work to ensure they emerge even more resilient once the pandemic subsides.