With over 70% of the Congolese population working in agriculture, the sector has the greatest potential for building the national economy and alleviating poverty. Yet legal constraints and competition from neighbouring countries have caused a decrease in access to quality seeds and consumer confidence. Furthermore, the market linkages to low-income farmers and agribusinesses are minimal, making it difficult for farmers to produce and sell quality crops and for agribusinesses to grow and prosper.
Quality inputs: ÉLAN RDC works with quality input suppliers, particularly improved seed suppliers, that have sales and distribution networks designed to meet the needs of smallholder farmers. In 2017 ÉLAN RDC supported the sale of 1,000 MT of seed nationally to first-time smallholder buyers.
Outgrower schemes: ÉLAN RDC works with processors, commercial farms and mines to create programs that support small producers to be commercially viable. ÉLAN RDC has advised on the launch of multiple successful outgrower schemes with mines and local seed producers in Katanga, and Kwilu.
Access to finance: ÉLAN RDC works with financial institutions to provide credit for agricultural enterprises. A third-party credit-against-stock product, Collateral Management Agreement (CMA), was developed by ÉLAN RDC in partnership with several commercial banks and a logistics company. In 2017 banks invested $2 million in a CMA across Katanga. ÉLAN RDC is coordinating further investment in 2018, with a component of lending to smallholder farmers.
Access to markets: ÉLAN RDC works with international organisations to facilitate domestic and cross-border trade of agriculture commodities through the development of networks conducting structured grain trade. In 2018, in collaboration with regional platforms such as EAGC (East African Grain Council), ÉLAN RDC aims to increase the trade of grains from the DRC to neighboring countries by 25%.
Business enabling environment: ÉLAN RDC works with regulatory bodies in DRC and international organisations to develop a favorable business environment and foster private sector led seed sector. In 2018 ÉLAN RDC and partners will drive coordination of private and public sector and non-governmental stakeholders to support the development of a private sector led seed sector in the DRC.