Countries improve productivity, access new markets, and conserve environmental and natural resources. NCBA CLUSA’s Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers work with farmers, producer groups, rural businesses, and service providers to develop the local capacity necessary to enhance food security, increase incomes and economic growth, and address environmental and natural resource management challenges.
Volunteer technical assistance from U.S. farmers, agribusinesses, cooperatives, and universities helps smallholder farmers in developing
As people who earn their livelihoods from agriculture, Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers are skilled at providing recommendations that local farmers can carry out using the resources that they have available.
The knowledge that Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers provide never runs out, never breaks down, is never misspent and is infinitely transferrable to others.
NCBA CLUSA began the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer “Strengthening Rural Enterprises” program in El Salvador and Honduras in 2018. This five-year program will work in three subsectors:
- Co-op Development
- Sustainable Coffee Production
- Horticulture Enterprise
How can I volunteer?
Impact: Composting through Metaphors
NCBA CLUSA has implemented Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer assignments across the world including Senegal, Madagascar and Zambia. New assignments in Latin America will be availabel in 2018!
Agriculture development professional and soil scientist Chris D’Aiuto spent two weeks in the remote Matam region of northeast Senegal volunteering as a composting and conservation farming expert.
“What I love about the program is its ground-up approach,” D’Aiuto said. “This isn’t an old, outdated model of development. It equips farmers with the knowledge and skills they want, ask for and need to become better producers, and I find that to be the most transformational type of development work.”
To help smallholder farmers understand the concept of protecting and enriching their soil, D’Aiuto found himself relying on analogies. One in particular resonated with the women of Fonds de Solidarite, he said: “The soil is like a bank. You can’t take out what you don’t put in.” That concept “just clicked” with the smallholders, he said. “They immediately understood that we can’t just keep taking from the land. If we give it something, it will give back to us.”
“The soil is like a bank. You can’t take out what you don’t put in.”
D’Aiuto taught in-depth composting techniques to some 20 Community-Based Service Providers (CBSPs) to augment the USAID-funded Yaajeende project, which NCBA CLUSA is currently implementing in four regions of Senegal.
One of the CBSPs, a young man named Soulamon, had never undergone formal training—everything he knew about composting came from a Yaajeende brochure he had found. Still, he had already made and sold 25 tons of compost, earning 2 million francs (US$4,000) in just a few months—more money than what most Senegalese make in a year.