Team: Farmer-to-Farmer | Commitment: Volunteer | Location: Malawi

Community Development and Proposal Writing

Farmer-to-Farmer is a USAID-funded initiative, which sends American agricultural/agribusiness experts to developing countries to offer technical assistance to our host organizations. These trips are volunteer-based, but all trip-related expenses are covered by CNFA, and typically last between two and three weeks.

Issue Description

The Mwandama Cooperative is a union of 8 primary cooperatives that are located within 10 kilometers of each other. The Cooperative has 400 members (188 women) who grow a variety of horticultural crops including maize, pigeon peas, cassava, soybeans and sweet potatoes. The members sell their crops to the cooperatives who then clean and sort the crops for bulk sale. The Mwandama Cooperative also generates income from other activities including maize milling, running a grocery store, and renting out a truck. This Cooperative was created under the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) in 2006. Through MVP, farmers in the area were trained in improved methods of farming and given a 2,000 square meter warehouse for grain storage.  Since the MVP ended in 2015, the Mwandama Cooperative is now left to manage and source funds for their businesses by themselves.  One way the cooperative can receive funds is through grants and loans.

The Mwandama Cooperative Union requests a F2F volunteer who can provide them with formal training on writing successful proposals.  Through the volunteer assistance, the Mwandama Cooperative also hopes to strengthen their Union as a social enterprise in order to help develop their local community. 

Desired Impact

  •   Development of a winning proposal for a grant for the Cooperative Union
  • The host is expected to acquire improved knowledge and capacity to operate as a social enterprise

Desired Qualifications of Volunteer

  • Knowledge and experience in writing successful grant proposals
  • Knowledge of social enterprises
  • Good presentation and report writing skills
  • Patience while working with a host with low levels of formal education
  • Experience working cross culturally in developing countries
  • Willingness to work for a week or more in a rural Malawian town
  • Must be citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.