Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Markets in Fragile Contexts: Lessons from the Seed Market System in Eastern DRC

Event Date: 
Feb 06, 2020
9:00 am to 10:30 am EST
Online Event
Marketlinks, Agrilinks, EEFS


Marketlinks, Agrilinks, and the Feed the Future Enabling Environment for Food Security (EEFS) project hosted a joint webinar on Thursday, February 6, 2020, examining the enabling environment for agricultural market systems in fragile contexts.

Drawing on EEFS’ recent study of seed markets in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), speakers discussed findings, recommendations, and a phased road map for how the public sector and donors can facilitate private investment in eastern DRC’s seed market system.

As USAID programming orients toward the Journey to Self-Reliance, interventions in the agriculture sector must support an enabling environment for private sector investment. A healthy enabling environment in which clear rules and sound institutions facilitate private sector actors’ involvement is the bedrock of an inclusive, self-sustaining agricultural market system.

Fragile country contexts, however, present unique challenges to this effort. Endemic social and political unrest combined with foundational issues, such as limited formality and an overreliance on emergency distribution, create a high-risk climate that deters investment in agricultural markets, stifling access to quality inputs and weakening long-term food security.

To learn more about the context-specific challenges encountered through seed systems in eastern DRC, watch the webinar recording.


Photo: Headshot for Lourdes
Martinez Romero
Agricultural Economist, USAID/Bureau for Food Security


Lourdes Martinez Romero is an agricultural economist in the Bureau for Food Security specializing in enabling environment for trade, private sector investment, and inclusive food system development. Before joining USAID, she worked in Africa, Asia and Latin America looking at regulatory constraints to expand market access for small-scale producers, and inclusive value chain and business development. She has a PhD and MS from Michigan State University.

Photo: Augustin headshot
Agriculture Program Specialist, USAID/DRC

Augustin Ngeleka is the Agriculture Program Specialist at the USAID Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

He has worked with USAID since 2008 in the Economic Growth Office, responsible for the monitoring and supervision of agriculture development activities and engaging with the donor community in advocating for improved food security, nutrition, and better agricultural practices. Prior to USAID, he worked more than 10 years with various government agricultural organizations, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Seed Quality Control Service (SENASEM), and the National Agricultural Research Institute (INERA). He has an MS in Agronomy from Texas A&M University.

Photo: Juan headshot
Ignacio Trives Pire
Seed Systems Expert and Agronomist, EEFS Consultant Team

Juan Trives is an agronomist and seed systems expert specializing in every aspect of the seed and planting materials sector, from germplasm prospection to breeding, seed production, and intellectua

l property rights.

Juan served as a technical advisor at the Spanish National Seed Institute and has since worked across central and east Asia, the Middle East, and north and sub-Saharan Africa, where he has provided institutional support and aided capacity building to create efficient legal and institutional frameworks for seed market regulation. He has worked on projects with the World Bank, EuropeAid, USAID, and FAO. Juan served on the Feed the Future Enabling Environment for Food Security project consultant team which carried out the DRC seed system study.

Juan graduated from the Madrid Polytechnic University and holds a postgraduate diploma in plant breeding and seed production from the OECD International Centre for Higher Mediterranean Agronomical Studies.

Photo: Roger headshot
Agronomist, EEFS Consultant Team

Roger Shongo is a senior agronomist specializing in central and west Africa with a focus on seed security assessments, seed development start-up entrepreneurship in agroforestry, and bio-carbon eva


Roger has worked in the DRC as a seed expert at the National Seed Service, followed by serving as the branch head for PMURR, a rehabilitation and reconstruction program, in its seed division. Roger has also worked on emergency and rehabilitation programs in the Central African Republic, on seed security in the Sahel, and seed programs in Chad. His work has supported the World Bank, FAO, UNDP, Swiss Cooperation, and GIZ International Services.

Roger served on the Feed the Future Enabling Environment for Food Security project consultant team for the DRC seed system study. He is a graduate of Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium.

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