Feed the Future


Spurred by the global food crisis of 2007-2008, the United States has restored agricultural strategies to the center of its efforts to alleviate poverty and address chronic food shortages. Beyond embracing a unilateral commitment to agriculture, the U.S. joined in with global leaders at the July 2009 G8 Summit in L'Aquila, Italy, to foster a multilateral commitment. In announcing the U.S. government’s Feed the Future initiative, administered by USAID, President Obama pledged $3.5 billion for agricultural development and food security over three years.

The U.S. pledge helped leverage $18.5 billion more from other donors in support of a common approach. The principles articulated in L'Aquila embrace the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action and were endorsed unanimously as the Rome Principles for Sustainable Global Food Security by 193 countries at the 2009 World Summit on Food Security. Thus, Feed the Future is not just a whole-of-government approach on the part of the U.S., but has helped instigate and inform a global movement including unprecedented accord among aid-recipient nations.

Agricultural Development is the Best Investment Going

As the USAID FTF website says, “Recent studies suggest that every 1 percent increase in agricultural income per capita reduces the number of people living in extreme poverty by between 0.6 and 1.8 percent.” No other investment has that return.

Since it was launched in 2009, Feed the Future has adopted an approach that recognizes the complexity and interactivity that underpin sustainable and inclusive agricultural growth. It has been an important vehicle for applying a comprehensive market-system approach that focuses on improving agriculture to drive economic growth with attendant poverty reduction. As such, it addresses nutrition, gender equity, agricultural research, local capacity building, private sector engagement and climate-smart strategies.

Learn more about Feed the Future on its website.


ACDI/VOCA is FTF Partner

ACDI/VOCA is a leading implementing partner of USAID’s FTF programming, and we are pleased that our work is part of a broader Feed the Future strategy.

Many of these projects are task orders under the Support for Food Security Activities (SFSA) Indefinite Quantity Contract, an effort to reduce hunger and improve nutrition in eastern and southern Africa. This five-year IQC provides USAID an efficient, rapid-response mechanism to fund bilateral and regional agricultural development and food security programs in countries of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa as well as Tanzania.

USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah spoke of the effects of FTF in Tanzania after a trip there in Feb. 2013.

ACDI/VOCA Speaks Agriculture

We were founded by U.S. farm cooperatives, and our stock-in-trade since 1963 has been agricultural development and food security.

Homer Darby, an early ACDI chairman, told the board that food shortages are the world’s biggest problem and that “the increase must come from the world’s small farmers.” Our earliest major project was helping to found the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative, in order to ramp up fertilizer production to maximize yields of IR-22 “miracle” rice and other staples. In that celebrated case, despite earlier predictions of food shortages and suffering, Indian farmers were able to transform food deficits into surpluses.

Even when for decades worldwide funding for agriculture development was on the decline, ACDI/VOCA kept its focus where it mattered most: on the livelihoods of more than half of the 870 million people who are chronically hungry and of 75 percent of the world’s poor. We

  • educated Egyptian farm families by producing a hit TV soap opera packed with farming techniques
  • organized farmers in Malawi into a nationwide 100,000-member producer group
  • helped draft a farm bill for Hungary
  • revived co-ops in Ethiopia and helped them rescue the world’s original coffee from obscurity and mediocrity, and elevate it to today’s market leader
  • engaged the private sector in cocoa development in southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa
  • brought widespread rural finance into the former Soviet Union

In 2003 USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios called ACDI/VOCA “the premier agricultural development NGO in the world.” Today we embrace the Feed the Future initiative and are proud to be a key implementer.