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Agriculture and Food Security

Women farm in a field
USAID helps women learn better farming methods in South Kivu province, eastern DRC
Africare/Adolphe Muwaw

Agriculture accounts for 42.5 percent of the DRC’s gross domestic product, employs 62 percent of its men and 84 percent of its women, and is the country’s most promising foundation for establishing food security and sustainable, equitable economic development.  For the last four years, DRC has been ranked first on the Global Hunger Index, while agricultural production has fallen 40 percent since 1990. Average daily food consumption is estimated at less than 1,500 kilocalories per person, below the minimum of 1,800 per person required to maintain good health.

To reduce poverty and increase agricultural productivity, market access, and environmental sustainability, USAID uses an integrated approach to inform and influence each of its programs. USAID activities support increased agricultural production through development of new varieties, improved growing and harvesting techniques, and increased processing efficiency.

To increase investment in agriculture, USAID supports the Government of DRC’s strategic planning and coordination role in advancing agriculture in DRC along with establishing agriculture targeted loan guarantee programs providing access to credit for the small and medium-sized Congolese agricultural enterprises. In western DRC, USAID is supporting agriculture sector stakeholders along important value chains and building the foundations for sustainable food security in the Kinshasa area, home to over 10 million people. In eastern DRC, USAID supports the transition from conflict and humanitarian relief programming to development assistance and economic growth. These programs advance the fight against poverty, create new and better livelihoods opportunities for Congolese, and support research, innovation, and sound policy development.

Last updated: August 06, 2014

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