BGGC Completes Second Successful Farmer-to-Farmer Project in Mali

Twelve volunteers assisted hundreds of Malian farmers under Browse and Grass Growers Cooperative (BGGC)’s Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) small grant project, Common Pastures: Sustaining Flocks, Farms, and Families in Mali. The program was a one-year small grant under Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA)’s Special Program Support Project (SPSP). During a combined 252 days in-country, volunteers worked to enhance the quality of life for sheep and goat farmers.

Credit and Savings Training Leads Farmers Association and Surrounding Community to Financial Success

Tadzera Kulima, a local name meaning “we are here for farming,” is a farmers’ association located in Lamego, in the Nhamatanda District, Mozambique. There are 28 members, mostly women, who produce vegetables, oilseeds and cereal grains which they sell in local markets. Because the members are all smallholder farmers they experienced challenges getting small loans from commercial banks; therefore, the association’s board has chosen to provide smallholder farmer loans to members for production and marketing activities. In January 2016, Tadzera Kulima requested assistance through the USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer program in order to establish a credit and saving system which could be replicated by other farmers in Lamego.

Program Snapshot: Guinea

Winrock began implementing Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) in Guinea in FY12, strengthening capacity of agricultural institutions and producer organizations to provide agricultural curricula, training, information and services to increase food security and reduce poverty. As that program ended, the Mission invested in its own similar program to continue work in agricultural education and training (AET) through volunteer support to local institutions. The Agricultural Education and Market Improvement Program (AEMIP) invested $6.7 million, working in close collaboration with Winrock’s new $2.5 million F2F program for AET.

F2F Host in Colombia Launches Skincare Products at Whole Foods

| Andrés Varona and Taylor Nelson

Based in the city of Cali, Colombia, the small natural skincare company Zen Naturals develops beauty products from naturally-active ingredients sourced from the nearby Department of Cauca, one of the regions most affected by Colombia’s prolonged armed conflict. Through ethical manufacturing and fair trade practices, Zen Naturals has re-invested in the Paez indigenous communities that grow the quinoa used in their products. By providing more effective tools and training to harvest organic quinoa, local Paez farmers are now able to generate a sustainable income and provide food for their families without having to leave behind their ancestral lands.

Healthy Hares: F2F Volunteer Assistance Decreases Mortality of Rabbits in DRC

| Reverend Marine Cizigire and Appolina Mapendano

Before the Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Project volunteer Julie Engel came into the picture, war and disease had a history of taking a toll on the rabbits belonging to the sisters of the Daughters of Resurrection. Located in the Province of South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the sisters shared that in 1996, they lost all their rabbits due to war; in 2001, they lost all their rabbits to disease. Even with these challenges, they continued to pursue rabbitry to address food security and infant malnutrition.

New Farmer-to-Farmer Project Supports Fish Farming in Kenya

From June 2017 to June 2018, Florida Atlantic University (FAU) will implement a new Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) project enhancing the development of the aquaculture sector in western and central Kenya. FAU will work in conjunction with Aquaculture without Frontiers (AwF) to send eleven volunteers on twelve-day assignments to provide practical trainings for Kenyan fish farmers. This F2F program is funded under Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA)’s Special Program Support Project (SPSP) and will build upon AwF’s previous experiences in Kenya to continue expanding opportunities for fish farmers.

Engineers Without Borders USA Surpasses Goals by End of Project in Kosovo

Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) recently completed its Farmer-to-Farmer program, Improving the Sustainability of Kosovo Agriculture, exceeding many of its targets during its one-year grant under Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA)’s Special Program Support Project (SPSP). From June 2016 to June 2017, EWB-USA fielded 22 F2F volunteers—well above the average for a one-year program. Twenty of the volunteers were new to the Farmer-to-Farmer program. These technical experts provided engineering solutions and training that improved a range of agricultural value chains and increased business opportunities for 24 Kosovar host organizations—from table grapes to dairy producers, wine production to dried herbs.

VEGA Farmer-to-Farmer Volunteer Preps Ghana's Food Safety System for EU Audit

Thanks in part to help from Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) volunteers, the Ghanaian government’s Plant Protection and Regulatory Services (PPRSD) is anticipating substantial progress to be found during its next inspection from European Union (EU) auditors in September. The Improving Food Safety Systems Project (IFSSP) in Ghana, implemented by VEGA Member International Executive Service Corps (IESC) seeks to strengthen the sanitary and phytosanitary compliance system in Ghana.