How does this work?
NCBA CLUSA partners with Engineers Without Borders and the National Peace Corps Association to identify host organizations, develop technical assistance plans, provide logistics, translation services when needed, and travel coverage for skilled volunteers from the U.S.
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.
In all my experiences farming and with the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer program, I’ve learned that composting is a universal language farmers speak the world over.
– A volunteer
NCBA CLUSA began the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer “Coffee Systems” program in El Salvador, Honduras and Peru in 2018. This five-year program will work in three sub-sectors:
- 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 available in 2019!
Check out new assignments
Read about Chris’ story about a previous assignment
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 “This isn’t an old, outdated model of development.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.