AGRIPEL represents 32 smallholder farmers near the town of Nhamatanda, Mozambique, focusing on helping its members produce and market vegetables. In an effort to improve its services, AGRIPEL turned to USAID’s Farmer-to-Farmer program which relies on the expertise of American volunteers to provide short-term voluntary technical assistance. As the partner for managing the program in Mozambique, CNFA responded to AGRIPEL’s request by sending Dr. Loren Parks, an agricultural economist who has worked in the field of agricultural economics since the mid-1970s.
After an initial assessment of the association, Dr. Parks started to encourage association members to reflect on their current cropping practices. Because its members lack irrigation, the selection of planting and harvesting times is critical to optimal product availability during the peak market for vegetables. Through subsequent training sessions, Dr. Parks taught tools for better financial record keeping, illustrating how the group could make more informed decisions about their cropping calendar and about market cycles moving forward.
CNFA will build off the momentum of Dr. Parks’ assignment by sending additional volunteers to continue strengthening the association’s capacity. Harnessing the expertise of American volunteers has positively impacted more than one million farmer families since the program’s inception in 1985.
Our program welcomes new enthusiastic volunteers. If you are or know experienced farmers and agricultural professionals interested in serving in an assignment, keep a look out on our page for interesting assignments. (https://www.cnfa.org/opportunities/volunteer-technical-assistance/)