Madagascar, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Moldova, Mozambique

Farmer-to-Farmer: Southern Africa & Moldova

Overview:

The USAID-funded John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Program (2018-2023) is implemented by Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) in Southern Africa (Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe) and the Eastern European country of Moldova. CNFA’s current F2F program aims to connect 394 mid-to senior-level U.S. volunteer experts with farmer groups, agribusinesses, trade associations, agricultural finance providers and other agriculture sector institutions to facilitate sustainable improvements in food security and agricultural processing, production and marketing.

The F2F Program was initially authorized in the 1985 Farm Bill with the primary goal of generating sustainable, broad-based economic growth in the agricultural sector through voluntary technical assistance. A secondary goal is to increase the U.S. public’s understanding of international development issues and programs as well as international understanding of U.S.-sponsored development programs. For more information on the activities of the program worldwide, please visit https://farmer-to-farmer.org.

Volunteers:

CNFA recruits highly-trained, exceptionally qualified volunteers — with years of experience in their respective fields — who offer their time and energy to provide technical assistance to farmers and entrepreneurs. Volunteers are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Volunteers should be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. See our Volunteer Page for more information on how to become a volunteer.

Program Approach:

CNFA’s approach builds on USAID’s continuous learning from the F2F program since its 1985 inception and CNFA’s decades of experience in F2F implementation. In each country, focal value chains are analyzed to identify critical leverage points for improvements in incomes and food security through volunteer technical assignments.

  1. Increase Agricultural Sector Market-Driven Productivity and Profitability: The Program promotes the adoption of innovative agricultural techniques and technologies and supports improved marketing and business skills.
  2. Improve Conservation and Sustainable Use of Environmental and Natural Resources: The Program leverages conservation agriculture and other practices to produce higher and more stable yields while reducing environmental degradation. It also focuses on efforts to control Fall Armyworm, a significant pest of diverse crops in Africa, and to mitigate aflatoxin.
  3. Expand Agricultural Sector Access to Financial Services: The Program’s efforts strengthen the financial management and business-planning skills of farmer organizations and agribusinesses.
  4. Private Sector Engagement: The Program also partners with government and private sector stakeholders and supports organizational development by building local markets and networks.

 

Madagascar

In close collaboration with USAID Mission-funded food security and environment projects already working in the country, the F2F Program in Madagascar intends to field 33 volunteers along the horticulture, aquaculture, livestock and rice value chains. CNFA’s F2F Program has been working in Madagascar since 2018. Efforts started in the southern Vatovavy Fitovinany and Haute Matsiatra regions, and have expanded to Atsimo Atsinanana, Atsimo Andrefana, Androy, Menabe, and Analanjirofo regions. To date, some highlights of the program’s results include volunteers training five fish farming and rice-fish system cooperatives in best practices and business management for table fish and fingerling production, providing advice to three beekeeping cooperatives on management of the varroa mite, a devastating pest for beehives, and offering technical assistance in fruit processing to a women’s cooperative and a woman-owned small business. These assignments have improved the quality of fish and honeybee products, among others, helping host businesses and cooperatives succeed and boosting the Malagasy agricultural sector.

Malawi

F2F expects 90 volunteer assignments to take place in all regions of Malawi, supporting economic growth in the agriculture sector along the horticulture, aquaculture and legume value chains. CNFA’s first F2F Program in Malawi started in 1996. To this day, the Program works closely with government and nongovernment institutions in Malawi to expand access to new host farms, businesses and cooperatives. For example, volunteers from the current Program supported the setup of Malawi’s first private tissue culture lab, establishing standard operating procedures and training technicians to develop disease-free banana seedling production. F2F also provided business management assistance to a social enterprise that provides farmers with certified seeds, extension services and a guaranteed market for their produce – helping the business obtain and manage a successful grant and enabling further expansion.

Moldova

In Moldova, 45 planned F2F volunteer assignments focus on the strengthening the country’s organic agriculture and livestock value chains. An additional eight assignments funded as buy-in activities in organic agriculture from the USAID Mission aim at increasing access to markets, providing legal and organizational support to key actors, and ensuring effective knowledge transfer. In partnership with the Moldova Organic Agriculture Alliance (MOVCA), volunteers helped develop an online learning platform with 17 virtual training modules containing over 40 videos and a set of pocket guides on 12 subjects critical to successful organic farming. The program also conducted an in-depth value chain assessment that analyzed six organic value chains with export potential. Having worked in Moldova since 1999, CNFA’s F2F Program will continue to support key agriculture sectors and actors to develop and build capacity, including livestock with the Moldova Association of Veterinarians and Agriculture University and organic agriculture through the Moldovan National Organic Agriculture Strategy, strengthening the productivity and growth of the country’s agriculture sector.

Mozambique

CNFA’s F2F volunteer project first worked in Mozambique in 1996. Today, it works in the Manica, Sofala and Nampula provinces of the country, with plans to conduct 84 volunteer assignments focused on the horticulture and poultry value chains and sub-sector services, i.e., the provision of inputs and services for the agriculture sector. Current volunteers have assisted in the creation of a branding development strategy for large Mozambican seed company Companhia de Zembe, which has helped build farmers’ trust, strengthen the Zembe brand reputation and extend its out-grower network from 50 in 2020 to 70 in 2021. The F2F Program also worked with poultry producers’ association Associação de Avicultores de Sofala to support chicken feed production using locally available ingredients, increasing growth rates while saving 50% in feed costs. Additionally, F2F assignments trained 112 students (including 55 women) in integrated pest management and organic fertilizer production through Young Africa’s AgriTech Center as well as the Center’s dairy farm staff in dairy production management, enabling the farm to increase milk production and profits. These assignments encourage the sustainable growth of Mozambique’s agricultural sector through entrepreneurship and increased productivity.

Zambia

In Zambia, a total of 57 assignments focus on aquaculture in the Southern Province and legumes and horticulture in the Eastern Province. To support rapidly growing input supplier and aggregator MC Sangwani, volunteers provided business management training, strengthening the enterprise and accelerating their growth. F2F also enabled corn-processing social enterprise Share Africa Zambia to improve its cornflakes processing and enhanced Malimba Multi-Purpose Cooperative’s capacity to develop a strategic plan, facilitating the organization’s registration as a legal entity. Combined with CNFA’s F2F experience in Zambia since 1996, these volunteer assignments support greater productivity and productive capacity for Zambian agribusinesses, helping increase farmer’s incomes and access to markets.

Zimbabwe

CNFA’s F2F program has been working in Zimbabwe since 1996. In collaboration with USAID Mission-funded food security, value chain and natural resources projects, the Program will organize 84 volunteer assignments across the horticulture, livestock/dairy and legume value chains. The Program will also collaborate with public and private sector stakeholders such as LEAD Trust, a former USAID Feed the Future Zimbabwe partner, and Old Mutual, a credit provider for smallholder farmers. Together, these entities work to provide technical assistance for the organizational development of farmer groups, improve access to credit and build resilience and capacity for engaging with the private sector. To date, the current Program provided training in business practices to the Chibuwe irrigation management committee (IMC) in the Chipinge district, resulting in coordinated input provision, sales and production that target market needs. F2F also provided training in good governance and leadership to Dewure and Chibuwe IMCs in Chipinge district and Seke IMC in Sanyati district, resulting in improved organization for marketing and access to finance.

Find your next adventure here

With the help of volunteer experts like you, CNFA looks forward to the continued assistance provided to Southern Africa through the F2F program.

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