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Concern receives grant from Accenture

It was announced today that consultancy company Accenture will fund the development of Concern’s conservation farming programmes in Zambia and Malawi.

 

The $1.5 million grant will be used to educate and assist local farmers and communities in sustainable farming practices.

Better harvests

The three-year Concern project will train 6,400 farmers in Malawi and Zambia in conservation agriculture. Local trainers will provide farmers with the skills needed to feed their communities and increase harvests. According to Concern’s CEO, Tom Arnold:

This is one of the largest single private sector grants received by Concern in recent years for the support of one specific project.

This project is all about encouraging and training farmers to take a radically different approach to crop production. We have good evidence from our work in Zimbabwe that conservation farming leads to higher crop yields and therefore increased food security.

We are delighted that Accenture is giving us the opportunity to develop conservation agriculture skills with farmers in Malawi and Zambia. I believe that this project will not only equip thousands of farmers and their families with new skills and a sustainable future but will also enable parents to save enough to send their children to school every year.

Building skills

The grant is part of Accenture’s focus on corporate social responsibility. Through its “Skills to Succeed” programme, it educates people around the world, building skills that enable them to contribute to the economy.

In addition to the grant, Accenture will continue supporting Concern with pro-bono consulting services from advice on developing Concern’s business strategy to volunteering. Speaking about the initiative, Mark Ryan, country managing director for Accenture in Ireland, said:

As part of Accenture’s commitment to building skills, we are helping Concern bring critical new techniques to farmers, which will help them sustain their families and their communities.

Moreover, our relationship with Concern draws on our people’s passion, experience and commitment to developing and nurturing talent and is aimed at making a significant, lasting impact on the economic wellbeing of individuals and their communities.

Paul Wagstaff, Concern's agriculture advisor, has been blogging about this. Check out his latest blogs: