Press Release

USAID Awards CNFA Southern Africa, Moldova Farmer-to-Farmer Program

CNFA to boost productivity, incomes through volunteer technical assistance in six countries

WASHINGTON, D.C. — CNFA, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture, an international agricultural development organization, announced that it was awarded a five-year, $12.25 million cooperative agreement from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to implement Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Programs in Southern Africa and Moldova. USAID administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide.

CNFA has 20 years of experience in implementing USAID F2F Programs, which connect farmers, agribusinesses and agriculture organizations with U.S. volunteer technical experts who provide market-driven solutions designed to boost agricultural productivity and incomes. Over the past two decades, CNFA has fielded more than 2,900 F2F volunteers in 24 countries, most recently in Malawi, Mozambique and Angola.

Under the new award, CNFA will select and field volunteer experts tasked with supporting the production, processing and marketing of products in the aquaculture, horticulture, legume, livestock and rice value chains in Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe in Southern Africa, and in Moldova in Eastern Europe.

“CNFA is fortunate to be able to leverage two decades of experience working with Farmer-to Farmer Programs to implement these new initiatives,” said CNFA President and Chief Executive Officer Sylvain Roy. “CNFA’s accumulated expertise will allow us to develop these programs in the most efficient and effective manner possible—and to provide the maximum impact for each beneficiary in terms of economic growth and food security.”

Under the F2F program, CNFA engages the farming community, private sector, universities and other stakeholders to recruit skilled agricultural and business experts, who then use their technical expertise to help program beneficiaries create and implement market-driven solutions that boost productivity and economic outcomes. By improving livelihoods, F2F programs also encourage social stability and reduce the risk of conflict.

CNFA also announced the appointment of agriculture and agribusiness expert Dr. Marjatta Eilittä to serve as Program Director for the new five-year project. In her new role, Eilittä will work closely with senior agricultural experts and program managers who support the value chains in their respective countries to ensure successful implementation of the program in each country.

Eilittä previously served with the University of Florida’s Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems funded by USAID. Prior to that, she provided financial and technical oversight for a $43 million USAID-funded project serving several West African countries.

Over the course of the five-year award, CNFA will design and conduct 420 volunteer assignments supporting 263 hosts across the six beneficiary countries. Plans call for the volunteer assignments to reach 80,741 beneficiaries through formal, on-the-job-training.

Expected impacts over the term of the program include an estimated $1.4 million increase in beneficiary net incomes, and a projected $46.7 million in sales by the hosts.


CNFA: Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture, an international agricultural development organization, specializes in designing sustainable, market-led agricultural initiatives. CNFA builds strong local and global partnerships, incorporates innovative approaches in its programs, and fosters inclusive development to offer enhanced opportunities to under-served groups. Since 1985, CNFA has managed more than $600 million in donor-funded agriculture development programs and has worked in 44 countries across the world in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latina America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and South and Central Asia.