Innovative techniques from iDE changing the way Africans farm

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Africa Agenda

Duncan Rhind and Stephanie Cox at the iDE front office in Golden,CO. Dec. 7, 2012

Golden, Colorado-based International Development Enterprises (iDE),  works with the private sector, employing unique technologies such as drip irrigation and the treadle pump to improve farming as a business.

These are proven methods resulting in more food and new ways to earn income for the poor in Africa, iDE says.

Recently, I made my way to iDE’s headquarters in Golden, where I sat down for a chat with Stephanie Cox, Africa Operations Director and Duncan Rhind, Zambia Country Director, to find out more.

“We firmly believe that the private sector is the best way to support local farmers,” said Rhind. “What we do is, we work with the supply chain, we work with the private sector, distributors of the agricultural equipment and chemicals and then try to get them to engage with the farmers.”

Cox said iDE doesn’t  actually sell anything directly, for the most part.  Private sector businesses “are the folks who are actually selling things to the farmers and making an income.”

While this was an opportunity to learn about iDE’s operations in several African nations, including Zambia, Mozambique, Ghana, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso, I learned much more. For example, I found out about an interesting political similarity between Zambia and the United States.

Whats is that similarity? Besides the U.S., Zambia is the only other country in the world with a president who is black and the vice-president who is white. Surprise, or no surprise?

Listen to the full interview here:

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