Farmer-to-Farmer: Southern Africa

Farmer-to-Farmer: Southern Africa

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CNFA implemented the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program in Southern Africa starting in 2008. From 2008-2018, CNFA’s F2F operated in the countries of Angola, Malawi, and Mozambique and aimed to generate rapid, sustained economic growth in the agricultural sector through short-term technical assistance provided by expert U.S. volunteers, including farmers, bankers, professors, civil servants, and active and retired business people. Lasting two-to-four weeks, volunteer assignments focused on a range of topics, from training farmers’ associations in improved production techniques to teaching cooperatives better financial management and marketing.

CNFA volunteers were guided and supported by our highly trained home and local staff. Through the storytelling of returned volunteers, F2F increased the broader American public’s understanding of international development issues and the critical importance of U.S. development programs.

Program Approach:

Since 2008, CNFA worked with agribusinesses, extension agencies, cooperatives, and farmers to provide expertise on topics including crop production, post-harvest handling and marketing of seeds, cooperative and association development, business plan development, communications and marketing support, and financial management.

  1. Increased Agricultural Sector Productivity and Profitability: CNFA’s approach focused on increasing smallholder productivity and profitability by targeting high-potential value chains in each target country;
  2. Improved Conservation and Sustainable Use of Environmental and Natural Resources: CNFA balanced increased agricultural productivity with improved conservation and sustainable resource use. Examples of volunteer roles include: water management, integrated pest management (IPM), and integrated soil fertility management;
  3. Expanded Agricultural Sector Access to Financial Services: CNFA linked smallholder farmer organizations and SMEs with credit via appropriate channels, including micro-finance institutions, banks, supplier credit, leasing, equity investment, and blended capital from investors;
  4. Strengthened Agricultural Sector Institutions: CNFA strengthened farmer organizations, including cooperatives and associations, local NGOs, industry associations that support improved input supply, and agricultural universities.

Agricultural Growth Program – Livestock Market Development

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The Agricultural Growth Program-Livestock Market Development (AGP-LMD) (2012-2018) was a livestock market development project funded by USAID. As part of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future (FTF) Initiative. AGP-LMD fostered growth, created jobs for rural households, and reduced hunger and malnutrition through increased competitiveness of selected livestock value chains in meat and dairy.

The project was part of USAID’s broader contribution to the Government of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Growth Program, aimed at increasing agricultural productivity and market access for crop and livestock products in targeted areas while bolstering the participation of women and youth. Additionally, CNFA supported local partner organizations in leading interventions through existing cooperatives, associations, government agencies, and private firms, spurring sustainable economic growth in Ethiopia.

Program Approach: 

  1. Increased Productivity and Competitiveness of Selected Livestock Value Chains: AGP-LMD provided training to livestock producers, enabling them to increase their livestock production, expand private farm supply businesses to better provide commercial farm inputs and services, and increase their competitiveness in domestic and international markets.
  2. Improved Enabling Environment for Livestock Value Chains: The AGP-LMD team facilitated policy discussions to reform bottlenecks and involved stakeholders through workshops and platforms. The program leveraged capacity-building for public and private sector actors, coordinated linkages with other USAID programs, and applied research to yield successful interventions. Over the life of the project, AGP-LMD developed and supported 11 livestock-related policies, regulations, and administrative procedures.
  3. Improved Quality and Diversity of Household Diets: AGP-LMD integrated communications and community mobilization efforts related to nutritional practices in program activities, targeting improvements in quality and diversity of diet for children under two and people living with HIV/AIDS. Through development agents and health extension workers, AGP-LMD reached more than 160,000 people with nutrition messaging.
  4. Women’s Empowerment: AGP-LMD trained more than 400 women entrepreneurs in business and leadership, equipping them with skills like time management, strategic planning, business relationship management, and ICT to help them participate more formally in the marketplace, increase their savings, improve the quality of their products, and strengthen their decision-making power within the household.


  • Netherlands Development Organization
  • International Medical Corps
  • Self-Help Africa- Ethiopia
  • Organization for Rehabilitation and Development in Amhara
  • Relief Society of Tigray
  • Institute for International Education
  • The Oromo Grassroots Development Initiative


Amalima Improves Livestock Productivity in Matabeleland North and South Zimbabwe

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Phillip Sithole, his wife and four children live in Matabeleland South in Zimbabwe, an area characterized by low rainfall available for planting crops. Because of the area’s arid conditions, the land is best suited for raising livestock. Sithole cares for cattle, goats, chickens and Guinea fowl on his small farm and sells at least one of his cattle every year, through his membership at the Magaya Livestock Producers Association, to support his family. But in order to generate a profit, he needs new offspring to replace the cattle he sells.

Unfortunately, low calving rates and in-breeding hinder smallholder farmers like Sithole in their efforts to increase their livestock. To address these constraints, Amalima, a USAID-funded Food for Peace program, initiated a series of trainings on Artificial Insemination (AI). AI affords farmers an opportunity to introduce new genetic material of adaptable and desirable cattle breeds that are better suited for harsher physical environments. Amalima staff, in collaboration with the Department of Livestock Production and Development, Department of Vet Services, Agritex and local paravets, facilitated the trainings to discuss the benefits of AI, as well as its process, timing and post-pregnancy diagnosis.

When Sithole heard about the training opportunity, he gathered funds to pay for seven cows to be inseminated at the cost of $30 USD each. “I am excited for an increase in my animals’ impregnation rate and am looking forward to a better income for my family,” Sithole expressed. Like most farmers who attended the training, the average pregnancy rate using traditional methods is between 20-30%. The insemination, introduced by Amalima, crossed his cows with a more resilient breed to improve the quality of his heard. After insemination, Amalima staff came back to inspect Sithole’s cows and found that 100% of the inseminated animals were pregnant.

To date, Amalima has trained 304 farmers (211 male and 93 female) on AI throughout Amalima’s four program areas. Because of these trainings, there is now a 68% success rate of pregnant cows as a result of AI and farmers are expecting their first generation of crosses in early March 2015. With this new technology and improvement in livestock production, families like the Sithole’s are able to plan better for their future needs. Additionally, these farmers are able to predict how many of their animals will become pregnant as a result of a much higher pregnancy rate than using traditional breeding methods.

Amalima applies a set of innovative approaches by building on existing communal initiatives and solidarity to address food and nutrition insecurity and strengthen resilience to shocks. It is introducing new farming technologies like AI though its livestock component in addition to teaching beneficiaries to become better farmers in difficult physical environments. CNFA leads a consortium of partners including Organization of Rural Associations for Progress (ORAP), Africare, Dabane Water Works, International Medical Corps (IMC), and the Manoff Group to increase productivity, improve drought resilience and adaptation, and enhance nutrition care practices in Matabeleland North and South, Zimbabwe.