MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — Cargill and CARE announced on Sept. 24 the renewal of a global partnership that is helping farmers and their families in developing countries increase their productivity and incomes, improve food security in their communities and better educate their children. 

The new three-year, $7.5-million partnership builds on the success of the Rural Development Initiative, a five-year, $10-million initiative begun in 2008 that has benefited the livelihoods of more than 100,000 people in India, Ghana, Cote d’IVoire, Egypt, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Brazil.

“CARE and Cargill share a commitment to promote opportunity and create lasting change for families living in extreme poverty,” said CARE President and Chief Executive Officer Helene D. Gayle. “Our work together has become a model for how CARE collaborates with the private sector to drive sustainable change. We look forward to building on our collective success in the next phase of this partnership.” 

In its first five years, the Rural Development Initiative has helped more than 42,000 children complete primary school, improved the health and nutrition of 30,000 children, trained more than 6,000 teachers and enabled more than 57,000 parents to better nourish and educate their children. In addition, technical assistance and training provided to farmers through the Rural Development Initiative has helped increase incomes for some 27,000 farmers and their families. 

The next phase of the collaboration between CARE and Cargill will focus on projects in seven countries: India, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Egypt. The projects will continue the partnership’s focus on reducing chronic hunger, improving nutrition and empowering rural communities to address issues such as child labor and access to education.

“Rural families in developing countries will thrive when they can sustainably increase farm production, effectively access markets, become food and nutrition secure, send their children to school and live in healthy, well-governed communities,” said Cargill Vice-Chairman and Chief Risk Officer Emery Koenig. “By combining our expertise at a grassroots level, we can help to bring about meaningful change for tens of thousands of people currently living in poverty.”

In West Africa, for instance, Cargill employees provide expertise for training programs that are helping farmers improve the quantity and quality of their cocoa production, as well as earn premiums for adopting sustainable cocoa farming practices. The higher incomes for these cocoa farmers mean more children can attend school instead of working. In Central America, Cargill employees have helped refurbish classrooms and school lunchrooms and volunteer in computer labs. 

CARE and Cargill attribute the success of the partnership to shared values and respect for the unique contributions each organization can make. 

“We have learned about the importance of agricultural best practices, quality seed and quality animal feed from Cargill,” said CARE’s Gayle. “In turn, Cargill has embraced CARE’s emphasis on having the people in the communities we serve take a leading role in identifying problems and developing solutions that they can sustain themselves.”