NCBA CLUSA hosts leaders of India's National Federation of State Cooperative Banks

indian-delegation-500 32117indian-delegation-500 32117Visitors representing India's National Federation of State Cooperative Banks with NCBA CLUSA President and CEO Mike Beall in the Cooperative Library at NCBA CLUSA headquarters, which houses some of the oldest works on cooperatives.

(August 25, 2015)

On a two-week trip to visit their credit union and cooperative bank counterparts around the U.S., leaders of Indian cooperative banks and the National Federation of State Cooperative Banks visited NCBA CLUSA headquarters this week.

During a discussion of the gap between financial sector co-ops and their non-financial counterparts, it became clear that getting cooperative capital into credit unions and cooperative banks is a common challenge for both countries.

“Co-ops need access to capital,” said Mike Beall, NCBA CLUSA president and CEO. Getting the co-op sector to choose credit unions over commercial banks not only supports cooperation among cooperatives (Cooperative Principle 6), but is beneficial for all, Beall said.

If non-financial co-ops shifted 50 percent of their deposits to credit unions rather than depositing in commercial banks over the next decade, the U.S. co-op sector has the potential to earn $2.2 billion more as a whole, according to a recent report by the Filene Research Institute

The delegation also discussed youth perception of cooperatives and touched on the International Cooperative Alliance’s Blueprint for a Cooperative Decade.

NCBA CLUSA has a long history of cooperative work in India. The organization's international work in the country began more than 60 years ago. In 1953, NCBA CLUSA responded to requests from cooperative leaders in India for assistance in strengthening their co-ops. NCBA CLUSA’s work had its most transformative impact in the dairy and fertilizer sectors, yielding two companies that are today among the world’s largest in their respective industries.

New financial assistance program brings NCBA CLUSA back to Mali

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(August 24, 2015)

After an eight-year absence, NCBA CLUSA will again be working in Mali, supporting the International Executive Service Corps (IESC), under the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) Leader with Associate award, as they implement a five year program to increase the use of USAID’s Development Credit Authority in Mali. 

Eighty percent of Mali’s population is involved in agricultural activities, and the agriculture sector has great potential to drive economic growth. Yet Mali’s farmers and entrepreneurs—especially women—struggle to get loans because banks and financial institutions are hesitant to lend.

The new program, funded jointly by USAID/Mali and Swedish Sida, will connect entrepreneurs in Mali to credit that is guaranteed by the Development Credit Authority, targeting agribusinesses all along the value chain and particularly women-owned businesses.

The Financial Technical Assistance Program (FinTAP) will work with both partners in the loan relationship, providing training and technical assistance to financial institutions and prospective borrowers. NCBA CLUSA will provide business development training to farmers and herder groups as an ancillary service to the loan access.

FinTAP’s lead implementer will be the International Executive Service Corps (IESC) with support from NCBA CLUSA and local Malian firm DC Consulting.

Senegal USAID Yaajeende

Despite relatively sufficient supplies of food, Senegal suffers from chronic food insecurity and like many neighboring sub-Saharan and Sahelian countries, is classified as “serious” on IFPRI’s Global Hunger Index. Senegal is a country with rich agricultural opportunity and yet imports nearly 70% of its food. Current production cannot keep pace with increasing demand from a growing population and rising food prices are limiting families’ ability to provide a diverse and healthy diet.


Project: USAID|Yaajeende

Agriculture and Nutrition Development Program for Food Security

Senegal image 01 2fa48Senegal image 01 2fa48To combat food insecurity in Senegal, CLUSA has embarked on a five-year, $40 million USAID-funded program to accelerate the participation of the very poor in rural economic growth and to catalyze sustainable development with Senegal‘s agriculture sector and improve the key dimensions of food security – access, availability, utilization and stability. As one of the original programs of the Feed the Future Initiative, USAID|Yaajeende is predicated on the United Nation’s Rome Principles for Sustainable Global Food Security, and employs an innovative, country-led and integrated approach to tackle the underlying issues which hold back the very poor from becoming integral and active members of the rural, agricultural marketplace.


An Integrated Approach

USAID|YAAJEENDE attacks the endemic food security problem through an integrated approach that works with rural producers through nutrition-led agriculture, whereby improved agricultural and wild food products are promoted within the rural value chain that would diminish identified nutritional deficiencies when consumed, thereby also with:

Entrepreneurs who buy, resell, store, transport and transforms agricultural products.

Microfinance Institutions and Banks who provide loans and services for the producers and the entrepreneurs.

Suppliers that provide: fertilizers, improved seeds, and agricultural equipment.

Cooperatives and Civil Society Members that are involved in decision making and local policy-making on topics related to food security and nutrition.

Consumers improve their knowledge of better food practices, increasing the need for nutritional products.

CLUSA will improve the food security and nutrition of 1,000,000 individuals across 60 rural communities in four regions of Senegal. The team will establish a network of 1,000 Community Based Service Providers (CBSPs) to provide input supplies, agricultural services and nutritional products to rural people on a commission basis. Total sales of inputs and services provided through the CBSP network plus the total commodity sales of produced outputs will equal $30 million by Year 5. Household incomes will be improved by 250%. Stunting will be reduced by 25% in USAID|Yaajeende target zones and the number of underweight children will be reduced by 35%.

Enriched Flour Made Locally

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The women of Seno Pallel in Matam Region make enriched flours and infant porridges using local ingredients including sorghum, millet, salt, sugars. The women began making the products for their own consumption in early 2012 and then, when they noticed a strong demand for the product, began packaging and selling flour mixes on local markets. Recently, the women received a large order from Senegal’s National Program for Nutrition for more than 21,000 sachets of infant flour, earning the women more than 1600 dollars in just a few weeks. USAID|Yaajeende is helping the women acquire additional tools and financing to scale this activity and expand sales of the enriched flours by linking the group with project Community Based Solution Providers to expand the distribution chain to other zones.

Food Security for the Future

School Gardend Social Marketing CampaignSchool Gardend Social Marketing CampaignSchools are a critical platform for the promotion of nutritional activities, providing access to vulnerable populations while providing a venue to develop better nutritional habits in young people. School gardens provide students with hands-on opportunities to learn agricultural techniques, the importance of a balanced and varied diet, and the value of community based development, integrating key components of USAID|Yaajeende into one educational program.

In addition to 29 identified community garden sites, the program has identified 50 schools where it will train Parent Teacher Associations and teachers on how to create, manage and maintain school gardens. These gardens will include a wide variety of nutritious fruits and vegetables, including nutrient and calorie dense crops such as the orange sweet potato, Moringa, carrots and green beans, and enhance food security for future generations in Senegal.

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NCBA CLUSA Awarded Grant to Strengthen Cooperative Research

(WASHINGTON, DC)—NCBA CLUSA was recently awarded a two year $1.3 million Cooperative Agreement by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to advance the knowledge and research of global cooperative development.

The project, in close collaboration with the Oversea Cooperative Development Council (OCDC), will design and establish a new cooperative development research and resource facility, the Cooperative Development Research and Resource Center (CDRRC), to build upon and broaden the ongoing research activities of various Cooperative Development Organizations (CDOs) to meet the needs of the international cooperative development community. The CDRRC will also provide a platform for both the development of research products and guidelines for the OCDC members and other cooperative development programs, and furnishing limited services to the CDOs, their partners and other cooperative development stakeholders.

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“This award gives us the opportunity to strengthen cooperative development research and support the work in which CDO’s are currently engaged,” said NCBA CLUSA’s Amy Coughenour, Chief Operating Officer for International Development. “In many developing countries and around the world cooperatives represent a powerful economic force, increasing the importance of strong market research and providing resources that are shaped by those findings.”

Over a billion people worldwide are members of cooperatives and credit unions. Despite this, very little substantial research has been conducted on collective action as it relates to emerging and developing economies. This research project is designed to collect a more thorough understanding of what drives cooperative success or failure, establishing a means for measuring cooperative impact and performance, in an effort to conduct research that can translate to meaningful change.

This two year project will be managed by NCBA CLUSA and funded through the generous support of the American people. USAID administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide.

Farmer-to-Farmer Volunteer Heads to Zambia for Second Assignment

Steve Laible ZambiaSteve Laible ZambiaNCBA CLUSA is pleased to host Steve Laible on his second Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer assignment in Zambia. Mr. Laible will be working with a Zambian organization called the Agricultural Commodities Marketing Program (ACOMAP) to help develop their business management skills. Mr. Laible’s first assignment in 2012 focused on introducing improved peanut butter production techniques to the farmers ACOMAP serves. Farmer-to-Farmer Program Manager Eric Wallace said, “We’re very excited to be hosting Steve on another Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer assignment. Steve’s analytical mind and generous heart make him a real asset to our program.”

Along with his wife Nancy, Mr. Laible is the founder and director of Education and Technology (EAT) centers in Bangladesh, India and Vietnam. The EAT center initiative is designed to help people use post- harvest processing technologies provided by NCBA CLUSA partner organization Compatible Technology International to improve their food security and nutrition, mainly through production of peanut butter.

Mr. Laible lives in New Brighton, Minnesota. Steve’s volunteer assignment is made possible through the generous support of USAID and ACDI/VOCA.







Thu Mar 22 17:24:17 +0000 2018

RT @FeedtheFuture: Happy #WorldWaterDay! Water is crucial for agriculture & food security. #FeedtheFuture
Thu Mar 22 17:20:13 +0000 2018

RT @SNCFsg: A good reflection piece for co-ops, big or small.
Thu Mar 22 17:19:03 +0000 2018

Dieynaba Gueye was able to invest in a #water pump after investing in chickens in #Senegal as part of the…



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