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MEDA partners train farmers how to battle deadly toxins.

Rural farmers in Nigeria, particularly women and youth, are hard hit by a number of environmental and market factors.

Aflatoxins, a family of toxins produced by fungi which are abundant in warm and humid regions of the world, attack crops such as groundnuts (peanuts), maize and rice. This reduces the quality and price paid for these crops.

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Kenyan farmers overcome pandemic restrictions through use of digital tools

By Joseph Kuria

Kenyan farmers and a MEDA partner firm they supply are embracing digital tools to minimize face-to-face business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kenya’s first COVID-19 case was reported March 13. By March 25, the Kenyan government had an- nounced a nation-wide dusk to dawn curfew and stopped travel to counties that were recording new cases.

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Indiana motorcycle manufacturer relies on Amish craftsmen to build components for their products

By Marshall V. King

GOSHEN, Indiana — When Richard Worsham and Devin Biek founded Janus Motorcycles in 2011, they knew they could get just about anything machined, welded, or crafted for their bikes in this part of the world.

The two started building small 250cc motorcycles with a reliable engine made in China that is used on motorcycles across the globe. These aren’t massive motorcycles that embody the notion that more is better.

Dorothy Nyambi

By Dorothy Nyambi

Our world has changed significantly since I started at MEDA in 2018. As we wrestle with the unprecedented implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the movements for racial justice in the US and around the world, the effects on us individually and collectively have been significant.

The development sector is going through a renewed wave of societal changes — shifts in geopolitical power distribution, a surge in nationalism, lessening trust in institutions, and increased demands to prove results — and we need to adapt.

Smart Logistics founder Rose Mutuku discusses her company with a visiting MEDA group

Kenyan woman works to raise farmers’ income

Rose Mutuku has always wanted to give back to her community by helping farmers in her region.

Growing up in a difficult area of Kenya where she had to walk more than six miles to fetch a litre of water, she knew well the struggles of small scale farmers in her region.

Leaders of Das Dutchman Essenhaus wore matching facemasks and ties made by a longtime employee as they delivered Mother’s Day carry- out meals to curbside customers. Photo submitted by Essenhaus.

Indiana businesses adapt to new realities following shutdown

By Marshall V. King

GOSHEN, Indiana — Ben Hart- man was transplanting 600 tomato plants on an afternoon in mid- March at Clay Bottom Farm, the business he operates with his wife Rachel Hershberger.

She was inside listening to Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb as he issued a stay-at-home order for the state in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

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Author reflects on job loss, how to respond

By April Yamasaki

Earlier this year MennoMedia made the difficult decision to cease publication of Purpose magazine after the August 2020 issue. For decades Purpose had offered inspirational stories of Christian faith to its readers, but it was no match for the financial impact of the COVID-19 epidemic. Its ministry of nurturing faith and discipleship through the sharing of personal stories will soon be over.

Driving Across a Dam in Haiti

For former Marketplace editor, Haiti required special training, and courage

(Editor’s note: Since his retirement, former Marketplace editor Wally Kroeker has kept himself busy with a variety of writing projects in between visits to grandchildren and growing his beloved tomatoes. What follows is the first story in a booklet called Fieldnotes Volume 1. Journal entries from work abroad, a delightful collection of travel tales that mostly never made it into the pages of this magazine. Wally produced the collection for family and friends, but they deserve to be read by a wider audience. This story came out of the first international trip he took as a MEDA employee, in 1986.)

more_cash_for_coconuts MEDA - Read online

MEDA-supported project improves lives of Kenyan farmers

Omar Mwalivunzi grows coconuts on his 15-acre (six hectare) farm, which is surrounded by forest in a rural area 35 km (21.7 miles) south of Mombasa, a coastal city of Kenya along the Indian Ocean.

He has 10 children, two of whom are still dependent on him. Omar is one of 3,000 coconut farmers who MEDA and its partner Kentaste are helping maximize what they earn from their harvests. The effort is part of MEDA’s M-SAWA (Maendeleo Sawa — Swahili for equal prosperity through private sector development) project.

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Manitoba renovation firm prioritizes employee care, energy efficiency

By John Longhurst

Plates were filled with bacon, eggs, hash browns and toast. A buzz of comfortable conversation filled the air at Wannabees restaurant in west end Winnipeg as owners and employees of Roost Custom Builders gathered for breakfast one early March morning.

The weekly get-together, held every Monday until the COVID-19 pandemic put an end to eating out, was part social gathering and part staff meeting — very much woven into the fabric of the small company of eight.

Jennifer Moss

Ongoing “baby steps” needed to rewire our thinking

Many employees are neither happy nor fully engaged at their jobs, Jennifer Moss says.

Studies show that only 13 per- cent of people globally are engaged and happy at work, Moss said in a presentation to MEDA staff from around the world at the organization’s annual planning meeting.

Building bridges across the funding gap

African lender serves medium-sized firms known as “the missing middle”

Access to finance is a challenge for many of the clients MEDA works within developing countries.

Some of MEDA’s efforts to bridge this financing gap involve investing in organizations that specialize in lending to small and medium-sized businesses. One such company is Business Partners International (BPI). MEDA has invested in BPI through MEDA’s Risk Capital Fund.

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Community support for Indiana entrepreneurs starts with each other

By Marshall V. King

GOSHEN, Indiana — A thriving downtown develops like a flower arrangement.

Piece by piece, flowers and greenery are put together, building to become a beautiful collection.