Winrock International Innovations Newsletter
January 2011

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Dr. Rosamond Naylor, director of the Program on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University, gave the keynote presentation on “Food Security and the Future of Global Development” at Winrock’s 25th Anniversary Symposium in December. Click here to watch the presentation online.


The Carbon Trade Exchange (CTX) and Winrock International’s American Carbon Registry (ACR) announced a new partnership this month. American Carbon Registry members can now list their credits on CTX, offering global buyers market access to ACR’s diverse range of credits via CTX’s exchange trading platform.


In December, Erin Hughes, senior program officer for Winrock International presented during a USAID webinar. Her presentation was entitled, “Empowering Marginalized Youth though Training in Agriculture and Literacy: Lessons from the USAID/Nepal Education for Income Generation Program.” 


Lilly Msweli, one of the top performing rose geranium farmers trained by Winrock International’s South Africa Essential Oils project, was selected as a finalist for Toyota’s 2010 New Farmer of the Year Competition in South Africa. Ms. Msweli and her farming partner Norma Ncube attended the awards ceremony in Johannesburg in November. 


The Winrock International-implemented Asia Regional Biodiversity Conservation Program (ARBCP), funded by USAID, is featured in the "Telling Our Story" section of USAID’s Web site. Click here to read the article.


Are you interested in working at Winrock? Click here to search current openings and post your resume. Would you like to volunteer with Winrock? Click here to learn more about new opportunities.


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Innovate Arkansas Instrumental in Client's
$5 Million Venture Capital Deal
  
Innovate Arkansas LogoInnovate Arkansas client Acumen Holdings recently signed a $5 million venture capital deal that will allow them to grow their Fayetteville, Ark.-based e-commerce business. Acumen Holdings is one of more than 80 clients receiving assistance from Innovate Arkansas.

In September 2010, at the urging of Innovate Arkansas staff, John James of Acumen Holdings – along with his business partners – presented at the Arkansas Venture Forum. Only 3 months after the presentation, they signed an investment deal with one of the foremost venture capital firms in the southeast, Noro-Moseley Partners in Atlanta. Also participating in the deal was Gravity Ventures Arkansas, Arkansas Risk Capital Matching Fund, and BLH Ventures. “(Innovate Arkansas staff) had to drag us kicking and screaming to the event,” wrote James in his blog about the Arkansas Venture Forum and their initial reluctance to attend. “Local entrepreneurs would be well advised to listen to the advice (provided by) Innovate Arkansas.”

Acumen Holdings manages several Web stores and will use the funding to expand into new retail categories and for infrastructure that will allow them to open 20 additional Web stores in the next two years – creating many new well-paying technology jobs in the state. Innovate Arkansas is a partnership between Winrock International and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission with a mission to help Arkansas compete on a national and global scale .

Winrock Volunteer Teaches Food Security Techniques in Nigeria
  
Winrock volunteer teaches food security in NigeriaIn Kaduna State, Nigeria, 50 percent of the population is living in poverty. Many farmers depend on crops such as yams as a source of income and nutrition for their families. However, many families struggle to feed their children and some end up discarding leftover yams because of a lack of proper post-harvest processing and preservation techniques – creating food insecurity for several months out of the year.

For a group of farmers in Kaduna State, this is no longer a problem. The USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer Program through the Food for Peace program under the U.S. Farm Bill – implemented in Nigeria by ACDI/VOCA, Winrock International and Land O’Lakes – identified the need for post-harvest processing and preservation training and engaged international agriculture and food science expert, Dr. Ramana Govin, to provide volunteer assistance.

Govin worked with Nehemiah Foundation International, a local service provider working with 5,250 farmers in four Nigerian states, and a group of 65 farmers in Kaduna, to provide technical assistance and training for washing, slicing, drying and pounding yams and cassava into flour. The methods reduce post-harvest losses and increase the number of months that families have a reliable food source.

After the first day of training, one farmer went home and followed the process as demonstrated. He took the flour to the workshop the next day, saying, “I never believed it was possible because of how simple the method seemed, until I tried it myself.” After the training, the farmers met with Nehemiah Foundation and appointed trainers to visit more nearby villages. A month later, 25 of these trainers are now offering instruction in indigenous languages on Govin’s techniques, enabling even more people to improve their family’s food security.  

Winrock Water Project Honored by InterAction’s Best Practices & Innovations Initiative
 
Winrock's water project honored by InterAction's BPI initiativeIn December, InterAction announced the award winners for the second round of their Best Practices and Innovations (BPI) Initiative. Winrock’s “Water for Health and Wealth” Multiple-Use Water Services (MUS) project was chosen as one of the five winning submissions by a panel of agricultural development experts.

The innovative MUS project, funded by USAID and Coca-Cola, is helping poor households in the Zinder region of Niger gain access to water using pumps that are manufactured locally. The water can then be used for drinking, food production and income generation. The project benefits both the health and livelihoods of people because of the reduction of water-related diseases and the creation of year-round sources of income from what were once limited gardens.

InterAction launched the BPI Initiative with the intention of promoting successful and effective practices and strengthening standards with an eye on the ultimate goal of improving the lives of millions who suffer from hunger and poverty. The first round of awards occurred in May 2010 .
       


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