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Marketing and Local Initiatives Project

Marketing and Local Initiatives Project

Located in south-west Congo, the project area has good agricultural potential but is one of the poorest regions in the country. The population includes a large number of poor small-scale farmers. Women are the main producers and make up the majority of the labour force. Because of the country’s unfavourable economic situation, many young people who migrated to cities returned to their villages in rural areas. The project targeted poor farm families and young people who are landless or who cultivate smallholdings.

The project’s objectives included increasing smallholder production and income by providing support for marketing and processing, rural financial services, and rehabilitation of village infrastructure and roads. Activities addressed marketing inefficiencies, including lack of access to markets and lack of effective financial services, and they promoted off-farm income generating activities.

To achieve these objectives the project worked towards:

  • strengthening institutions and reorienting them to respond to the needs of poor small-scale farmers
  • introducing incentives and technology suitable for poor farmers
  • supporting local organizations to foster their participation in planning and implementing the project
  • providing support services such as credit, inputs, and processing and marketing facilities

Developing rural financial markets and providing access to credit for small-scale producers were key features. The project experimented with a new decentralized approach to providing rural financial services through Financial Services Associations (FSAs). In this context, the Mutuelle Congolaise d’Epargne et de Credit (MUCODEC) played a vital role, filling the gap between the classic formal banking system and traditional savings groups and informal credit. MUCODEC’s system of cooperative banks gives poor rural people, particularly women, access to savings, credit and other financial services.

In addition, the project supported a demand-driven research and extension system to help ensure sustainability.

 

Source: IFAD


Status: Closed

Country

Congo

Approval Date

12 December 1990

Duration

1990 - 1996

Sector

Marketing/Storage/Processing

Total Project Cost

US$ 14.26 million

IFAD Financing

US$ 8.7 million

Co-financiers (Domestic)

Domestic Financing Institutions US$ 1.02 million

National Government US$ 3.82 million

Financing terms

Intermediate

Project ID

1100000272


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