Posts Tagged ‘United States’

OPIC Loan Helps with Food Security in Rwanda

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Forestry and Agricultural Investment Management, USA, LLC, (FAIM) receives loan from Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S.

Logo of the United States Overseas Private Inv...

Logo of the United States Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Government’s development finance institution to further their efforts to help with food security in Rwanda.

Based in Kigali since 2010, FAIM grows virus-free plants such as banana varieties, passion fruit, tamarillos and pineapple. With the recent OPIC funding, the company will expand their operation with new tissue culture laboratories to further production of their mainstay plants as well as starting production on new plant varieties like potatoes and strawberry plants.

FAIM, CEO, Steven Jones, notes, “This program to help the African farmer was developed about 6 years ago by my wife, Cheryl and I, after a trip on a USDA Trade Missions to Madagascar and South Africa. There wasn’t anything that our nursery in Tennessee could offer these people that would make their lives better. So, we developed a program that would help to solve many of the problems that the African farmer is experiencing with their crops beginning with clean healthy plants. It took years of tweaking, locating the right social investors, being awarded a grant from AECF (African Enterprise Challenge Fund) to help get our project off to a good start, but, here we are now 3 years in Rwanda and growing once again with OPIC financing.”

According to Jones, the FAIM program began in Rwanda one of the most densely populated countries in Africa yet lacking in food security. The banana and pineapple production, alone, in Rwanda has seriously declined in the past few decades leaving the country to import much of the produce. Providing the Rwandan farmers with healthy plants, extension services and FAIM’s own Farm School, they now have the opportunity to successfully grow quality produce to sell in local markets as well as through other distribution networks.

FAIM offered plants for food security farming for farmers in Rwanda and other sub-Saharan African countries, Middle East and Asia.

Growing Plants to Feed the World!

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We’re Recognized in USDA blog

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

United States Department of Agriculture writes about FAIM in their blog.      Planting Seeds of Prosperity 

I want to make note that FAIM has not received any grant funding from any USDA program. We are funded by some social investors and, soon to join our group, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC is a U.S.development finance institution). FAIM was awarded funding from Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund.

plants for food security

Potting Day

Planting some of our tissue culture plants into larger containers. FAIM offered banana, apple banana, passion fruit, tamarillo and pineapple plants for Rwandan farmers or shipping into nearby countries.


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We’re Profiled in

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

We are so excited to be profiled in The article was written by Josh Ruxin, a contributor who is based in Rwanda. I am honored that Josh chose the our plant program to write about. It’s an excellent article and I hope you’ll take time to read it.

Growing Rwanda Out of Poverty

Contact FAIM for pricing and plant availability.

virus free banana trees

Beautiful banana trees.

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How it all started

Sunday, January 30th, 2011
Madagascar Kids 3

Image by babasteve via Flickr

In 2005, I was invited on the USDA Trade Mission to South Africa and in a last minute effort, added a stop to Madagascar. I found the people of Madagascar to be friendly, kind and happy. To observe them was to see individuals who were busy, going and doing. Their island country was beautiful with much flora and fauna, it still came with its problems. Deforestation is a critical issue in many areas where clear cutting is being done without any replanting.  Even though I only visited this charming place for a few days, it stayed with me well onto the next stop in South Africa.

The point of the USDA Trade Missions to different countries is to take your “wares” to new markets. As much as I wanted to try to offer all of these people something, I had nothing that they could possibly need or that could help their situation. While attending meetings in South Africa, my thoughts of how I could possibly help countries solve some of their agricultural and erosion issues and allow the people to benefit as well. Between meetings and during evenings, I had long conversations with my wife who was back home in the states. She and I brainstormed on possible projects that could be done to help both land and its people. Before I left South Africa, we had created our basic plan.

Once I returned home, we worked long hours to further develop our plan. Hardly a few months after returning from Madagascar and South Africa, I had another USDA Trade Mission to attend in Kenya. The director of the Trade Missions kept informed of the progress of our new project. He was an early cheerleader of this concept and set aside time at the Kenya meeting of local businessmen to introduce it as a solution to help control erosion issues within their countries and to work with their farmers.

To be continued in my next post.

Steve Jones

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