USAID declares collaboration to enhance the market for domestically cultivated rice in Eastern DRC

The United States Government (USG), via the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has announced a partnership with La Différence, a private firm in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). La Différence, operating in North and South Kivu with offices in Goma and Bukavu, is a Congolese business accelerator focused on market development.

This collaboration aims to strengthen connections between private firms and smallholder farmers to bolster the competitiveness of the agricultural sector in the DRC. La Différence offers services such as training, business acceleration, and market access support.

The partnership seeks to expedite the production of local, high-quality rice, haricot beans, and soybeans to meet local demand, currently dominated by imported products due to supply chain disorganization and consumer preferences for superior goods.

Through this initiative, confidence in locally-produced crops is expected to increase, leading to reduced imports and enhanced coordination within local supply chains. With a duration of two years, the partnership will utilize approximately $507,000 in combined USG and private-sector funding.

Implemented by the Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships (MSP) Activity under USAID/DRC’s Market Access Partnership Facility, the partnership aims to address barriers hindering agricultural-led growth and strengthen supply chains. The overarching goal is to alleviate poverty and enhance economic competitiveness and inclusiveness in the DRC.