Assessment of the DRC's Agricultural Market Systems

  • Date Posted: June 10, 2015
  • Authors: Megan O’Donnell, Andrew Cook and John Magistro
  • Organizations/Projects: ACDI VOCA
  • Document Types: Assessment
  • Donor Type: Non-US Government Agency

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) possesses vast, fertile lands, with more than sufficient resources to feed the country and even the continent. However, the land under agricultural production is severely underproductive, and a large part of DRC’s food supply is imported. The majority of the country’s population is poor and suffers from malnutrition.

USAID is considering a new set of activities focused on improving livelihoods for agricultural communities in the Kivus and/or in Katanga, which are geographic priority areas under the mission’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS). Both regions are agriculturally-based economies with impoverished populations that depend heavily on imports to meet their consumption needs; however, each region faces unique challenges and will require tailored solutions. A value chain assessment (VCA) was undertaken in February and March 2015 to inform the next stage of program design to address these challenges.

Six value chains in each region were assessed according to criteria that included how potential interventions could create inclusive growth (reduce poverty), improve food security, support women and youth, and be climate change robust. The effects of the conflict situation in the Kivus (and to a lesser degree in Katanga) were also an important lens used in the analysis. Using a market systems development approach, analyses of the end markets and inputs markets were completed for each of the focus products, and the findings served as an additional screen.