United in Building and Advancing Life Expectations (UBALE)
The USAID Food for Peace (FFP)-funded UBALE program, a $60 million project implemented by Catholic Relief Services (CRS), works to increase the productivity of profitable and nutritious farm products for 250,000 smallholder farming households, linking vulnerable rural households to successfully engage with markets, reducing stunting among children under five, increasing resiliency to shocks for households and communities in a cross-cutting manner, and supporting underlying systems and structures to sustainably contribute to reducing chronic malnutrition and food insecurity while building resilience. NCBA CLUSA is responsible for the value chain and farmer association income generation portion of the project, which will target 29,000 farmers. NCBA CLUSA will work with the National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM) to organize farmer clubs into more robust marketing associations of about 1,500 farmers and provide them training in negotiation, quality and organized delivery. NCBA CLUSA, along with NASFAM, will create links between farmers associations and local, national and international buyers, commodity exchanges, agro-input suppliers, and financial service providers.
Providing technical leadership to UBALE, which means “partnership” in Chichewa, NCBA CLUSA is working to strengthen value chains, increase farmers’ access to market information and financial services, identify on and off farm employment opportunities for youth, women and vulnerable participants, and build the technical and institutional capacity of NASFAM.