iDE presents innovation in linking agriculture and nutrition from Bangladesh at the World Bank

Richard and Conor from iDE Bangladesh are off to the World Bank in Washington DC on Friday to talk about our Agriculture & Nutrition Extension Project, funded by the EU. The project is pioneering new ways of working through the market to link increased agricultural production to improve nutrition, for example in fish and vegetable markets. It is helping 16,000 vulnerable households in Bangladesh. 

ANEPDate: Friday November 8th

Time: 12:30pm – 2:00 pm

Venue: World Bank Building, Washington Room I2-250

In Bangladesh low income families often suffer from poor access to healthy foods and low ability to make good nutritional choices. iDE UK’s Agriculture and Nutrition Extension Project (ANEP) has been supporting vulnerable families to make healthy food choices in the south of Bangladesh and the Nepal plains since January 2012. It aims to sustainably raise agricultural productivity, promote effective market linkages and nutritional awareness to improve the nutritional behaviour of poor rural and urban households. The project is targeting 16,000 vulnerable households (HHs), such as those with pregnant-lactating mothers, adolescent girls and children up to 5 years of age, directly and some 43,000 HHs indirectly through value-chains.

Highlights so far:



Richard Rose leads the Technology Portfolio for International Development Enterprises (iDE) in Bangladesh. He is responsible for agricultural technology commercialisation initiatives including the EU-funded Agriculture and Nutrition Extension Project (ANEP) and the USAID-funded Cereal Systems Initiative South Asia – Mechanization and Irrigation (CSISA-MI) program.


Conor Riggs leads the iDEsign product innovation team, and is the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Portfolio lead for International Development Enterprises (iDE) in Bangladesh.

To read the full article – please click here.


Former Minister of Agriculture Appointed New iDE UK Chairman

David Curry has become Chair of the Trustees of iDE UK. David’s appointment follows the tragically early death of Andrew Hunt. David’s career has been in journalism and politics.

david curry con.jpg.display

About David: He was correspondent for the Financial Times in Brussels and Paris before becoming one of the first directly elected Members of the European Parliament where he chaired the Agriculture Committee. Elected as a UK Member of Parliament in 1987 he was Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries under Mrs Thatcher before becoming Minister of Housing, Local Government and Urban Regeneration under Prime Minister John Major. In Opposition David chaired the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee as well as serving on the Public Accounts Committee.

David and iDE UK: He was recruited to the iDE UK Board in 2010 by Andrew Hunt – a friend for more than 50 years since university. Like Andrew David has strong links with the US – he was one of the first Kennedy Scholars, studying international relations under Henry Kissinger at Harvard University.

The future: David has defined three priorities for iDE UK:

1. Working with a wider range of donors and attracting more flexible funding – not tied to particular projects but enabling iDE UK to innovate
2. Putting help for women in the poorest communities in the developing world
at the heart of its operations
3. Developing its capability in assisting farmers to access financial services.

David says: “Like all organisations we need constantly to be aware of changing circumstances and be capable of re-engineering our work to meet new needs,” he commented. “In our field there is no such thing as a non-challenging environment and we must keep iDE right at the forefront both of innovation and down-to-earth practicality, delivering value-for-money and outcomes which are manifestly sustainable.”

Celebrating Innovation – with Colalife

For years, a conundrum has baffled visitors to developing countries: Coca-Cola is everywhere, but basic medicines are not. Why?

This was the question asked by Colalife – an organisation that started as an online ‘movement’ in 2008, and became an independent UK charity in 2011.


On Monday I went to the premier of the ColaLife Documentary ‘- ‘The Cola Road’ – at the RSA in London on Monday. The documentary follows the ColaLife team in Zambia as they attempt to make an anti-diarrhoea kit as ubiquitous as Coca-Cola. It was a incredibly inspiring documentary – so much so that I felt obliged to write this blog post!

Like the staff at iDE the folks behind Colalife are curious about the world we live in and creative when looking at solutions for change.

They pondered whether Coca Cola’s distribution network could be harnessed for good – to get new innovative products out into developing countries where they are needed most.

After a creative design process they came up with the fantastic ‘Kit Yamoyo’ basic medical kit – a small kit containing anti-diarrhea medicine – which slots perfectly between crates of Coca Cola.


These beautifully designed kits are being trialed in Zambia. They have great potential to reach even the most remote areas where 1 in 9 children die before their fifth birthday from preventable causes, especially dehydration from diarrhoea.

With the inadequacy of current initiatives, this innovative product coupled with a private sector distribution model, could have a real impact on child mortality figures that have not changed significantly for at least 3 decades.

Cola Life is engaged with  the likes of Coca-Cola, UNICEF and other key stakeholders, including 10,000 online supporters and myself and the iDE UK team are excited about the outcome!

Sam – iDE UK

New iDE Mobile App set to enhance trade between Zambia and the DRC!

iDE UK has teamed up with UK charity techfortrade to launch a six month pilot project to boost trade between Zambia and the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo).


iDE Field officer, Chiseba, tests out the app

The pilot is using an innovative mobile app called LimaLinks, (Lima means ‘Cultivating’ in Bemba – one of the 72 languages in Zambia) which has been developed by iDE with funding by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

LimaLinks is currently being deployed by iDE in 9 Zambia markets. It improves the two-way information flow between small-scale horticultural farmers and market agents, by allowing agents to check market prices and quantities and relay the information back to farmers, therefore enhancing their decision making and enabling them to realise greater profit.


A fruit and veg market in Zambia..

Through this work iDE identified an innovative opportunity to extend this mobile-based market linkage system across the DRC border, benefitting both Zambian farmers through increased demand of produce and DRC consumers through increased competition.

The Cross Border Trade pilot is already under way and the first transactions have been completed. If successful, this pilot will be expanded to other border points later in 2013.


A tomato display in front of a truck waiting to cross the border

techfortrade are a U.K based charity that aim to ‘support sustainable and scalable technology innovations that facilitate trade and alleviate poverty’. Their approach is strongly aligned iDE UK’s and for this reason we eagerly await the fruits of our collaboration! We will keep you updated!



Creating Shared Value – iDE UK & the innocent foundation

Since 2006 non-profit organisation iDE UK and the innocent foundation have achieved a major impact in some of the world’s poorest communities in Africa and Asia. They have found new, innovative ways to create shared value that can offer insights into creating a successful partnerships between NGOs and the business world.


Creating shared value starts with shared values. iDE and the innocent foundation have a joint belief in investment in projects with long term, sustainable aims which focus on an entrepreneurial approach to small farm agriculture. 

With the support of theinnocent foundation iDE has delivered projects in Ethiopia and Vietnam to build sustainable and scalable business enterprises serving smallholder farmers with products and services to increase their incomes.


The success of these projects is not only underpinned by iDE’s 30 year‘s of experience of market-based solutions to poverty but by an innovative partnership relationship which extends beyond financial support.

innocent have bought their expertise and skills to help the projects including using employees’ professional skills to help iDE’s clients and using social media channels to raise the profile of iDE and the projects.

iDE UK and the innocent foundation have established a solid basis for a lasting partnership which is key to transforming the live’s of the rural poor in years to come.

ide innocent

Visit iDE UK:

Visit innocent foundation:

Cyclists Raise £4,806 for iDE-UK

On June 19th-23rd 2013,  Ana Ximenes, Marty Flores and Jaana Koponen – three employees from RLG International –  participated in a 300 mile bike ride from London to Paris in order to raise funds for iDE UK.  They raised an incredible £4,806 that will go directly to iDE UK and our projects.


The victorious team celebrate under the Eiffel tower.

From everyone at iDE UK we would like to sincerely thank Ana, Marty and Jaana for their amazing effort and determination.

RLG International are a group of performance enhancement specialists. Their efficient, business approach is perfectly matched to iDE’s philosophy.

They have been fantastic supporters of iDE, not just in this but in supporting the development of a network of Farm Business Advisors in Zambia.

Visit our website to Read more about their Journey.

We hope they inspire others to undertake similar challenges for iDE UK in the future. For Fun Ways to Fundraise please take a look at our website.


A Rugby player’s guide to Development

Meet Laurent Stravato, the iDE Country Director in Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso, which translates as the country of honest people is a sun-lit, land-locked country in the West of Africa.


Entrepreneur Laurent, testing a new irrigation system

Laurent  was responsible for setting up the iDE office in 2011 and assembling a team of dedicated local staff. Together they are working hard to improve the opportunities for smallholder farmers in Burkina Faso, especially with the use of drip irrigation which holds huge potential for this arid Sahel region.

Yet when it comes to time off, Laurent is still all about taking a strong and uncompromising stance to Development – the development of the National rugby team that is!

Rugby - Laurent

iDE Burkina Faso’s Country Director Laurent is in the centre of the photo!

Laurent coaches the National Rugby team, motivating them towards success.  Whether he’s at work or on the rugby field, he encourages others to TACKLE the obstacles in front of them, put in 100% effort, search for the opportunities to succeed and TRY for the best. The team may not have ever made any national leagues as yet, but Rugby is a popular sport that unites the country.

Luckily, the Minister of Agriculture is a huge fan of Rugby, so he really appreciates Laurent’s stalwart efforts in driving forward Burkina Faso, not just by increasing agricultural productivity, but by his indefatigable efforts with the National Rugby team.

To read more about the potential of Drip Irrigation in Burkina Faso – click here