Tetra Tech is applying a nutrition-sensitive value chain and market systems development approach to strengthen the foundation for durable peace in South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Years of conflict in Eastern DRC have eroded the economy, diminished the productive and adaptive capacity of households, and discouraged private investment. As a result, a large number of vulnerable households have limited capacity to respond to environmental and social shocks and stresses and to take advantage of economic opportunities.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) selected Tetra Tech to implement the Feed the Future Democratic Republic of the Congo Strengthening Value Chains (SVC) Activity in South Kivu. The SVC Activity aims to increase household incomes and access to nutrient-rich crops by linking smallholder farmers to strengthened and inclusive value chains and supportive market services. The SVC Activity is designed to complement USAID-coordinated investments in agriculture, education, governance, and health to strengthen the foundation for durable peace.

Tetra Tech is applying a nutrition-sensitive value chain and market systems development approach. This approach combines technical assistance and capacity building for value chain actors; credit facilitation; assistance with market linkages; public-private partnership development; social behavior change communication; and advocacy to support nutritional crop (beans and soybean) and specialty coffee value chain development in South Kivu. Working with the Government of DRC, civil society organizations, and the private sector, our team is building the capacity of vertical and horizontal actors working within targeted value chains, as well as helping enhance coffee production. Tetra Tech is focusing on building the value chain actors’ organizational, business management, and technical capacity and skills in advocacy and conflict mitigation, while integrating gender and nutrition strategies into the actors’ activities. Our team is targeting thousands of coffee farmers across the region to ensure adaptation of climate-smart agronomic practices. Through these efforts, the SVC Activity will contribute to the revitalization of the coffee sector, historically a leading export commodity for DRC.

The SVC Activity integrates gender considerations, with a focus on gender equality and women and youth empowerment, into all SVC Activity components to ensure opportunities to engage in all aspects of value chain development. In the DRC, women have limited economic opportunities due to a patriarchal system where resources are accessible mainly to men. Working with its partners, Tetra Tech engages both men and women from the same households to attend trainings, which significantly impacts women’s equal access to productive resources and results in increased agricultural activity. Additionally, our approach reduces intra-household conflict and increases joint financial decision-making and women’s control of income and assets.

In the DRC, access to credit needed for commercial production is limited, and few financial institutions offer credit to farmers and agribusinesses. Tetra Tech is working to enhance access to commercial finance by providing technical assistance to execute Development Credit Authority (DCA) agreements that will support agricultural-related activities. Through these targeted interventions, the team will assist local banks in disbursing DCA loans to hundreds of micro-small and medium enterprises and cooperatives, which will mobilize millions for the agriculture sector.

Tetra Tech has continued to combat global hunger and poverty for nearly four decades. Our team supports local ownership by engaging local and private sector stakeholders in DRC to facilitate close collaboration with USAID’s Development Food Assistance Program, local governance, health, and humanitarian activities.