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Report Highlights Challenges Facing Farmers and Small Businesses in Developing Countries One Year

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TechnoServe's COVID-19 Impact Report traces impacts over past year, reveals looming threat to agricultural livelihoods and food security

ARLINGTON, Va. - EntSun -- Today, international nonprofit TechnoServe released the COVID-19 Impact Report: Rebuilding Global Livelihoods. Drawing upon a series of surveys TechnoServe carried out over the past year, as well as insights from the organization's teams working on the ground, the report analyzes the challenges facing farmers and entrepreneurs and presents practical solutions to overcome them.

TechnoServe works on approximately 100 projects across 28 countries, giving it a frontline view of the disruptions that the pandemic caused to value chains and local economies across Latin America, Africa, and South Asia, as well as how these challenges impacted the lives of farmers and entrepreneurs. The new report provides insights into three crucial sectors in emerging markets: commercial agriculture, food processing, and small business.

The report yields a number of important findings:
            • Underinvestment on farms threatens harvests, food security, and livelihoods
              • Surveys of hundreds of smallholder farmers across 10 countries revealed that many responded to the economic crisis by cutting back on their farm investments, with profound impacts on agricultural productivity
              • While 15% of farmers reported in July that they were harvesting smaller quantities than usual, that share had jumped to 34% by November
              • This risks trapping farmers in a cycle of smaller harvests and lower earnings
               
            • Small businesses face a continued credit crunch
              • Nearly one entrepreneur in five still reported disruptions to their access to finance in January 2021, despite improvements in their access to markets and supplies
              • Digital technology is playing a key role in efficiently disbursing loans and grants to entrepreneurs; training is particularly important in accompanying these disbursements

  • Coffee provides an economic lifeline for farming families
    • Despite low global prices in recent years, coffee sales were well-insulated from the impacts of COVID-19
    • In summer 2020, surveys of 1,290 coffee growers in East Africa found that while a quarter of respondents lost income related to off-farm jobs or the sale of other crops, just 10% were earning lower coffee incomes

The report outlines several strategies for responding to this emerging crisis within each sector  and presents broad recommendations around:
  1. Expanding access to digital infrastructure and tools
  2. Improving women's resilience to economic shocks
  3. Strengthening agricultural supply chains
  4. Improving small business adaptability

Read more here: https://www.technoserve.org/2020-covid-report/

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About TechnoServe

TechnoServe (https://www.technoserve.org) is a leader in harnessing the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves out of poverty. A non-profit organization operating in 29 countries, we work with hard-working men and women in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses, and industries.

Founded over 50 years ago, TechnoServe has been named the #1 nonprofit for fighting poverty by the ImpactMatters charity ratings agency.

Source: TechnoServe

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