On Wednesday December 8, social entrepreneur Peter Bloch impressed a group of Community Partners' staff and guests with a riveting summary of his recent work in Sub-Saharan Africa. Passionate about effective, grassroots-driven change, Peter has quietly and capably advanced food security on the African continent for the last four years. Working through IFDC (www.ifdc.org), he's set two primary goals for his work. First, he's determined to eliminate counterfeit seed, the kind sold by unscrupulous dealers bilking the unsuspecting, and which devastates the livelihoods of thousands of smallholder farmers. Second, he actively promotes interest by social venture investors who want to place funds of $10,000 to $150,000 in small sustainable businesses run by local, indigenous African business operators. The combined work, Bloch contends, will advance independent economic success in the region.
Through IFDC, Peter has secured funding from the United States Agency for International Development and the European Union to launch an innovative pilot program in Uganda which promises to eliminate fake seed. Working with farmers, Peter helped adapt a telephonic verification method used to assure distribution of fresh pharmaceutical medicines. The program, set to launch in April, will use tamperproof scratch-off coatings and numeric codes on seed packaging. Farmers purchasing the seed will verify its authenticity by calling a central phone number via widely used SMS texting technology.
In addition, Peter continues to seek social investors who will support small-business growth in this sector. His short, aptly named documentary - "Meetings with Remarkable Agro-dealers" showcases indigenous African entrepreneurs committed to supporting prosperity in their regions through close business relationships with small farmers.
Peter maintains a home in Santa Barbara, California. When he's stateside, he makes himself available to address groups engaged with international food and health issues and, of course, will meet with social investors any time. Call him or drop an email. You'll be impressed, too. (310) 702-5104 or firstname.lastname@example.org.