(September 8, 2015)
NCBA CLUSA’s Farmer-to-Farmer program, funded by USAID and implemented through Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) Special Program Support Project (SPSP), returns to Zambia with two volunteers headed to work with farmers’ cooperatives to address the issues of peanut processing, with particular focus on reducing levels of the harmful carcinogen, aflatoxin, that can be found in peanut processing.
Jock Brandis and Randy Shackelford both work for Full Belly Project, a nonprofit based in Wilmington, NC that designs and produces income-generating agricultural technologies for farmers in the U.S. and abroad. They will put their peanut shelling technology to work in Zambia as they educate farmers on the negative health and production impacts of aflatoxin infestation in peanuts and provide training in post-harvest handling and storage techniques that will help reduce aflatoxin levels in their peanuts. Brandis will work with the Chipata District Farmers Association and Shackelford will work members of the Community Oriented Development Program.
Both the Chiapata District Farmers Association and Community Oriented Development Program have had NCBA CLUSA Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers before. Those volunteers helped the organization register as a cooperative in Zambia, as well as trained producers on marketing their products in 2013. With this history with Farmer-to-Farmer, the organizations requested the current assignments, knowing they would get the right expertise.
The USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer program sends American farmers and agribusiness professionals on 2-3 week agricultural development assignments, promoting sustainable economic growth and agricultural development worldwide.
Volunteer technical assistance from U.S. farmers, agribusinesses, cooperatives, and universities helps smallholder farmers in developing countries improve productivity, access new markets, and conserve environmental and natural resources. NCBA CLUSA’s Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers work in Senegal and Zambia with farmers, producer groups, rural businesses and service providers.
We will catch up with Jock and Randy when they return, and are excited to be sending expertise and Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers back to Zambia!
Want to know more about the Farmer-to-Farmer program or how to volunteer? Click here.