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Learning Briefs | April 13, 2023

Learning from the Budikadidi Project in the DRC

Bolstering the Soy Value Chain to Address Malnutrition

Since 2017, a CRS-led consortium has implemented the USAID-funded Budikadidi Resilience Food Security Activity (RFSA) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)’s Kasaï Oriental Province to sustainably improve household nutrition, food security, and economic well-being. The baseline evaluation revealed that families in the implementation area consumed less than four of the 12 food groups, and only 33% of women consumed animal-source protein. While practicing a value chain activity was found to be associated with lower prevalence and depth of poverty, only 10% of farmers (predominantly men) were participating in value chain activities. To address protein deficits, the original project design focused on small livestock value chains; however, the midterm evaluation showed that a goat epidemic had severely weakened this intervention and the intended dietary impact was not visible amongst targeted households. While knowledge of dietary diversity had increased, protein availability and accessibility remained a challenge for most households. In response, CRS pivoted and launched a soybean pilot. Derived from a series of staff interviews, participant feedback, and a desk review, this brief documents the Budikadidi soybean pilot and offers early learning to inform next steps.