Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Markets, Risk and Resilience

So every rural family can take control of their future.


Feed the Future ALL-IN 2020 Call for Research Grant Proposals

The Feed the Future Advancing Local Leadership, Innovation and Networks (ALL-IN) program, a collaborative research grant program between the MRR Innovation Lab and the International Center for Evaluation and Development (ICED) and funded by USAID announces a call for research proposals from researchers at African institutions to advance host country leadership in defining and implementing research projects.

ALL-IN is designed to provide the historically under-resourced African economic research community the resources it needs to fully engage and further develop and to fully utilize local institutions’ clear pathways to local policy impacts. African researchers will take the lead in defining priorities and will then draw on US university-based mentors for support as needed to enhance their capacity in implementation and management of large-scale research projects.

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The Public and Private Investments Boosting Small Seed Companies and Maize Yields in Kenya

Saleem Esmail founded Western Seed Company in Kenya in the 1990s with the idea that better maize varieties could free small-scale farmers from low productivity. He built the company by adapting his own improved maize varieties and varieties shared at no cost by CIMMYT to local climates and ecologies that had never been the focus of Kenya’s big seed companies.

The wide variation in growing conditions across Kenya is part of why the big seed companies have had a hard time reaching every farmer with productive, improved seeds. For example, in Kenya’s western mid-altitude communities of small-scale farmers around Kisumu and Siaya, seeds bred primarily for the larger-scale farms in the higher-altitude Rift Valley barely outperform traditional varieties.

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Empowering Women in Nepal with Goats, Training and Community

In 2014, economist Sarah Janzen sat in on a rural women’s group discussion in Nepal about their experience with a Heifer International program. She was planning an impact evaluation of an intervention taking the same approach and wanted to know more about how the program worked. The women were more chatty and social than Janzen expected. But an odd thing happened when Janzen asked a simple question. What had been the biggest change in their lives as a result of the program?

“When I got to that question they got quiet,” said Janzen. “One of the women said, ‘Prior to the program we weren’t able to introduce ourselves in public.’”

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