iDE Cambodia Celebrates Another Successful Year!

iDE Cambodia

Last month, Rachel Pringle stopped by our London office to tell us about the latest news and successes of iDE Cambodia.

Rachel joined iDE Cambodia in March 2012, and is thoroughly enjoying her time out there! Fortunately for us, she was able to drop by our London office during her time back in the UK for Christmas to give us a fascinating update on some of the amazing work happening out in Phnom Penh.

iDE Cambodia have had a wonderfully successful year, the big success story of the year was iDE Cambodia’s ceramic water filter enterprise Hydrologic winning an Ashden Award – a huge achievement which has benefited the project in numerous ways. As well as bringing in a variety of opportunities, support, networks and connections, Rachel and the team can now use their knowledge from Cambodia to work with partners to develop similar commercial operations around the world, helping with product development, commercial opportunities, technical support and sales models. In 2013, Hydrologic will also branch out to develop new products and services to improve safe water access in rural Cambodian schools.

We were delighted to hear that Hydrologic with support from Nexus Carbon for Development have had their first Voluntary Gold Standard carbon credits issued in December Two thirds of rural households in Cambodia use wood or charcoal to boil water before drinking. Although helpful for purifying water, this has a high environmental cost. Hydrologic ceramic water filters reduce the amount of wood burnt and bolster rural economic development. By displacing water boiling practices, Hydrologic helps households avoid burning over 18,000 tons of wood each year, saving more than 40,000 tons of CO2 emissions yearly.

Hydrologic was also a winner of an Impact Business Award in 2011, meaning Rachel was able to attend an Impact Business Forum event in Pretoria, South Africa where she was able to gather ideas and learn from other entrepreneurs.

Another aspect we were particularly interested in here at iDE UK was the Hydrologic microfinance scheme carried out in partnership with microfinance institution Visionfund, whereby customers purchasing ceramic water filters are given the opportunity to take out a loan to pay for the installation of the filter. This has proven extremely successful as the vast majority of customers opt to take the loan when available and to date 100% have repaid the loan within the given repayment period. Visionfund also partner with iDE Cambodia’s sanitation team to provide microloans to rural customers for latrines. In 2012, Rachel has been working to develop financing options, including partnerships with microfinance institutions and web-based microfinance platform KIVA for iDE Cambodia’s Farm Business Advisor (FBA) enterprise to enable farmers and FBA entrepreneurs to purchase agricultural inputs and equipment that will improve their yields and income.

iDE Cambodia’s innovation team i-Lab have also had a busy year –  the i-Lab facility develops products and services that challenge key issues for the rural poor in Cambodia. The i-Lab designs radically affordable, market-based solutions for the poor to help them take steps out of poverty on their own. They also work to build the capacities of other organisations so that they can more effectively innovate pro-poor solutions. The i-Lab has now secured a number of innovation projects in 2013 including in the areas of hand hygiene, and clean drinking water access.


We can’t wait to see what is in store for Cambodia in 2013!

Thanks for stopping by Rachel!


Rachel (left) accepting our Impact Business Forum award

Rachel (left) accepting our Impact Business Forum award


iDE UK invited to speak at Innovations Against Poverty event

iDE UK CEO Lewis Temple spoke about pioneering iDE Farm Business Advisor (FBA) scheme at recent event in Stockholm.

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iDE UK CEO Lewis Temple spoke about pioneering iDE Farm Business Advisor (FBA) scheme at recent event in Stockholm.

On 26th November, Sida’s Innovations Against Poverty programme held their first ever Conference and Awards ceremony in the Waterfront Congress Centre in Stockholm. Innovations Against Poverty challenges the private sector to develop products, services and business models that can contribute to poverty reduction and combat climate change. The conference was aimed at bringing together like-minded entrepreneurs, incubators and business practitioners to meet and share ideas about inclusive business development. As part of their mission to help innovative private sector development, IAP have awarded iDE UK a €20,000 grant to fund an initiative bringing the Farm Business Advisor model to Mozambique.

Lewis was invited to share iDE UK’s thinking on innovative solutions to combat poverty. Drawing on the Nestlé Creating Shared Value award winning Farm Business Advisor scheme in Cambodia, Lewis was able to demonstrate what can be achieved in Mozambique. The Farm Business Advisor initiative trains local entrepreneurs to sell agricultural inputs such as fertiliser and seeds to local smallholder farmers, as well as provide support and advice in order to help farmers grow market oriented crops. This approach ensures that farmers are able to improve their agricultural productivity, thereby enabling them to generate a stable income that can dramatically improve their living standards, and reduce food insecurity. This also provides Farm Business Advisors with a sustainable livelihood and income.

In Cambodia Farm Business Advisors currently work with over 15,000 farmer clients.  In Mozambique we estimate that farmers could increase their income by £186 a year, with FBA’s increasing their income by up to £621 a year.

In his presentation Lewis focused on describing the Farm Business Advisor franchise model, whereby Farm Business Advisors act as franchisees linked to a central franchisor that provides training and business support. In this way, Farm Business Advisors are individual entrepreneurs, yet operate under the brand, training and products of the wider scheme. This model presents a viable solution to the problem of getting the right products and services the very last mile, into the hands of the poorest and most isolated farmers.

Lewis reported that “Innovations Against Poverty are unusual in that they are prepared to take risks by investing in businesses trying to reach poorest. In this way, they are leading the way in using grant funding to enabling businesses to effectively reach the bottom of the pyramid.” He added that the event “was an excellent opportunity to bring together amazing entrepreneurs working across Africa and Asia. Everyone was able to share experiences and inspire one another. I was delighted to be part of the programme and am already looking forward to next year’s event.”

We would also like to say congratulations to sanitation initiative Sanergy, who won the main prize of Social Innovator of the Year!  Sanergy has created a sustainable sanitation business solution in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya that is providing clean and hygienic toilet services to some of Africa’s poorest urban slum dwellers.

Find out more about iDE UK and our Farm Business Advisor programme.

Take a look at Lewis’ presentation from the conference.

One week to go to The Big Give Christmas Challenge!

Double all donations made to iDE UK between the 6th – 8th December with The Big Give Christmas Challenge


iDE UK have been given an incredible opportunity to double donations made to us between the 6th – 8th December! As part of the Big Give Christmas Challenge The Waterloo Foundation has very kindly agreed to match the donations we receive in these three days!

This means that if we reach our target of £10,000 we could be investing £20,000 into helping poor farmers work their way out of poverty!

iDE UK works with thousands of poor small-holder farmers in Africa and Asia, adopting market-based solutions to help them work their way out of poverty. From experience we know that every £1 given to iDE UK creates an additional £10 in household income for farmers and their families. This means that a matched donation of £100 could result in a poor farmer being £2,000 better off!

Here are some of the wonderful things that your Big Give donation could do:

A donation of £25 will be doubled to £50, which could pay an iDE UK Field Officer’s wages for one week. Field Officers work with around 500 poor farmers each week, ensuring they grow the right crops at the right time of year and to make sure they have access to profitable market opportunities. The role also involves training and supporting local Farm Business Advisors, as well as working with local manufacturers to ensure they are producing quality goods that can be sold to local farmers.

A donation of £75 will be doubled to £150, which could pay for the installation of a treadle pump. This is vital for demonstrating the technology to local farmers, who can then invest in their own treadle pump in order to expand their farm business. Treadle pumps enable farmers to access large quantities of water in an easy, cheap and environmentally friendly way. Access to water is an essential part of increasing both the quality and the quantity of crops, leading to better nutrition and a higher income for poor farmers.

A donation of £250 will be doubled to £500, which could pay for the training of a Farm Business Advisor. Farm Business Advisors are individual entrepreneurs who deal with around 130 farmers each week, encouraging and equipping them to grow market orientated crops in order to create an income for themselves and their families. Farm Business Advisors are an invaluable source of knowledge and support for entrepreneurial farmers working their way out of poverty.

Remember, the challenge starts at 10am on Thursday 6th December (exactly one week today!) The online donation system can become congested and on occasions may crash. Please make your donation as close to 10am as possible to ensure that you get your donation matched!

We would appreciate any donation, no matter what the size, and all donations will go directly towards helping poor farmers work their way out of poverty. Please don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to make the maximum impact on global poverty from your donation.

Donate to iDE UK (but remember it will only be matched from 10am Thursday 6th – Saturday 8th!)

Bangladesh photographs from David Graham

As promised, here are some more wonderful photographs taken by iDE UK ambassador and professional photographer David Graham when he was out visiting iDE UK projects in Bangladesh.

To see more of David Graham’s photographs taken when visiting iDE UK projects visit our Tumblr and Pinterest pages!

Poor Vietnamese farmers reap benefits of innocent foundation and iDE UK project

Three year project to roll out Fertiliser Deep Placement technology (FDP) successful in helping poor Vietnamese farmers out of poverty.

This infographic shows the successes of the Vietnam project so far

iDE UK have teamed up with the innocent foundation, the charitable arm of innocent drinks well known for its delicious smoothies, to implement a project to help local entrepreneurs to manufacture and sell  FDP pellets to poor farmers, which enables them to work their way out of poverty.

Fertiliser Deep Placement (FDP) is an innovative technology that compresses high quality, nutritious fertiliser into small pellets, to be placed in the ground alongside the rice seeds. This ensures all the nutrients and goodness from the fertiliser goes straight into the roots of the plant, with none being wasted in the surrounding soil. This simple yet effective technology is proving to be hugely successful in helping subsistence farmers maximise on their crop productivity and incomes.

iDE UK and innocent foundation teamed up in 2010 for a three year project aiming to reach four thousand Vietnamese famers to help them increase their crop yields and their incomes. Adopting FDP technologies can increase crop yields by up to 100%, providing a huge opportunity for farmers to work their way out of poverty.

The project is centred on the region of Hiep Duc, which is one of the poorest provinces in central Vietnam, with one third of the area’s population living below the two-dollar a day poverty line.

The project also focuses on providing local entrepreneurs with the skills, technology and training to manufacture and sell the fertiliser pellets to ensure long-term sustainability. By the summer of 2012, 2,726 farmers were using the fertiliser technology, increasing income by an average of £35 per household.

The project has proved to be a huge success, so far beating many of its projected targets and providing thousands of poor famers a means of increasing their crop production and creating an income for themselves and their families.

This project proves that innocent do so much more than just make tasty drinks!

Countdown begins for The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2012!

Fantastic opportunity to double online donations made to iDE UK between the 6th and 8th December.

iDE UK - helping rural Ethiopian farmers out of poverty

We are currently gearing up to our biggest fundraising event of the year with The Big Give Christmas Challenge! This fantastic opportunity pairs charities with trusts and foundations in order to double all money donated within a three day period in December. This year, The Waterloo Foundation has very kindly agreed to support iDE UK and could match donations of up to £5,000 per person coupled with further matching by our pledges!

This means that if we achieve our target we will raise a fantastic £20,000, which will go towards our projects working with poor smallholder farmers.

We will be reminding you nearer the time, but for now please keep these date in your diaries and get ready to help poor farmers create sustainable livelihoods and work their way out of poverty!

Remember ONLY the money raised on the 6th, 7th and 8th of December will be matched by The Waterloo Foundation and our pledges. Please donate from at 10am on these days to ensure that your donations get matched as the matching pot can get exhausted if you leave it too late! 

iDE UK creates business opportunities for Zambian farmers

iDE UK invests in small holder Zambian farmers to combat poverty and create win-win opportunities with local mining companies

We are very happy to announce that we have recently received approval to begin a brand new project in Zambia, which will bring iDE UK together with a local Zambian NGO called Nutri-aid Trust. The project will be based in the North-Western province, which is the poorest, most remote and least developed region of Zambia, with 61% of the population classified as ‘extremely poor’.

iDE UK will work towards developing the entrepreneurial skills of small holder farmers whilst introducing them to income generating opportunities and innovative technologies. This will include a number of micro-irrigation systems, such as the treadle pump. The project will also adopt iDE’s award winning Farm Business Advisor (FBA) approach, whereby local entrepreneurs are trained by iDE to encourage and equip farmers to grow market-oriented crops as well as advise farmers how to reduce risk, improve productivity, and increase income.

On top of this, a vital aspect of the project involves local mining companies in the area, who present a valuable retail opportunity for the local farmers and communities. These mining companies will benefit from the project as the farmers will provide food for their workers. This is not only environmentally friendly as large quantities of food are not being shipped in from other areas, but also creates large and profitable markets for the farmers to take advantage of. This win-win situation utilises the market to create business opportunities that not only helps the poor rural farmers out of poverty, but is environmentally friendly and creates a valuable opportunity for the mining companies.

Through this project we aim to help 3,500 households raise their incomes by $350, creating new markets and drawing farmers out of poverty in the long-term.