Global Programs

More international P6 opportunities: NCBA CLUSA begins new five-year Farmer-to-Farmer Program

The new project, Diversified and Resilient Farmer Businesses, will continue operating in Ecuador, Honduras and Peru, and expand to El Salvador.

What better way to kick off 2024 than with another opportunity to practice P6, or cooperation among cooperatives? NCBA CLUSA is excited to announce the awarding of our new five-year, $7.5 million Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

NCBA CLUSA has facilitated U.S. volunteer technical assistance to support cooperatives and other farmer organizations abroad through USAID’s F2F program for more than 15 years, and the new project builds on our just-ended F2F program in Ecuador, Honduras and Peru.

The new project, Diversified and Resilient Farmer Businesses, will continue operating in Ecuador, Honduras and Peru, and expand to El Salvador. NCBA CLUSA aims to enhance the resiliency of farmer businesses by implementing 300 volunteer assignments focused on the thematic areas of diversification, climate-smart production, and cooperative/producer organization development.

NCBA CLUSA’s Coop-2-Coop Volunteer Council—co-chaired by Heidi Traore at National Co+op Grocers, Lisa Buckner at National Farmers Union and Hazelmae Overturf at Kaua’i Federal Credit Union—are equally thrilled for the new F2F project to ramp up. Overturf highlighted, “There is a growing surge of cooperative development support, so the time is now to participate and promote these opportunities, especially cross-industry. Personally, I would love to see more diverse co-op participation in programs like F2F to support the creation of ecosystems where all co-ops can thrive.”

NCBA CLUSA’s F2F team will collaborate with the Coop-2-Coop Volunteer Council to ensure these P6 volunteer opportunities are widely disseminated within NCBA CLUSA’s membership and the broader cooperative community in the U.S. “Farmer-to-Farmer projects offer an unparalleled learning experience for those involved in both the agricultural and cooperative spaces. As an organization that represents both, the National Farmers Union could not be more excited to work with NCBA CLUSA to promote these volunteer opportunities to our members,” Buckner said.

Traore knows how unique these F2F volunteer experiences are, as she completed an assignment in Senegal with NCBA CLUSA back in 2017. “Through my volunteer assignment, I gained visibility to the local business environment and gathered insights about the operations and needs of the co-op I worked with. While we were co-ops of different countries, I experienced firsthand that, as co-ops, we all operate with the same basic values. Farmer-to-Farmer is an excellent way to utilize your tools to help build on the expertise of those on the ground in the country by offering your knowledge while sharing in a rich cultural exchange.”

What does a typical F2F volunteer assignment look like? Assignments are 15 days on average, with the volunteer traveling to work directly with the host organization on a specific topic. Host organizations include agricultural cooperatives and other farmer organizations, higher-tier cooperative organizations and associations, smaller women’s groups, agribusinesses, and local government entities. The volunteer provides technical assistance through training, workshops, and coaching activities with support from F2F staff. Volunteers are paired with an NCBA CLUSA F2F field coordinator who accompanies the volunteer throughout the trip, providing interpretation, co-facilitating training, and serving as a cultural guide. The F2F program covers travel costs (airfare, lodging, ground transport) and provides a meal stipend.

Volunteer assignments for the new project will likely begin in March, so check out our volunteer opportunities here and in Co-op Weekly. If you are interested in getting involved in the Coop-2-Coop Volunteer Council, which focuses on supporting volunteer engagement with NCBA CLUSA, please contact

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