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Volunteer Post

Building the capacity of agriculture sector institutions worldwide

This article is a contribution to a four-week blog series celebrating 30 years of USAID’s John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Program.

Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers build the capacity of all types of agriculture sector hosts — including farmers associations, agribusinesses, agriculture education and training  providers, government agencies, and NGOs. Volunteer experts have helped host organizations develop governance structures and strategic plans; improve operations and increase efficiencies; diversify and improve services and products… and so much more.

Nothing speaks more highly of the quality and value of volunteer assistance than feedback from the hosts themselves:

“[F2F volunteer] Mr. Doherty has succeeded immensely in pointing us the way forward to refocusing the Association to serve members in its core mandate. Personally, I am convinced that if we execute his recommendations, the Association will give value to its more than 800 members in a sustainable way and generally increase the impact of the sub-sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP.”  — Kabir Mustapha Yar’adua, Executive Secretary, National Association of Micro-finance Banks, Nigeria

“F2F has offered to UPAB a historical occasion with this training. This is the first time we are attending training for management. After this training, Winrock/F2F can rely on UPAB to improve the living standards in the region!”  – Elhadj Bayo Guirassy, President, Union of Cashew Producers of Boke, Guinea

“The efforts of [F2F volunteer] Dr. Harmut on developing agriculture courses to establish the Nepal Apiculture Institute (NAI) at the Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU) are highly valuable. I need this help to establish and run NAI/AFU successfully.” — Dr. Khem Raj Neupane, Head of Horticulture Department, AFU, Nepal

“F2F technical support created a technically capable core team that has strengthened our technical support to clients and outreach in all of the major regions of the country. F2F seems like a small program but it provides cutting edge training that is pertinent for [our] local context!” — Training and Capacity Building Manager, Ethiopia Meat and Dairy Technology Institute

“Thanks to this training, we became leaders and are offering assistance to our neighbors!” — President of the Farming Cooperative of Dladie, Mali

“The volunteer’s visit made us look inwards and reassess the ways that we might cut costs and improve quality ourselves. [F2F volunteer] Cliff Wener opened our eyes to see opportunities and solutions to problems that we have previously not noticed.” –Mr. Adeshina, co-owner, Arise & Shine International, Nigeria

“The volunteers helped me a lot. I was already involved in the business, but it was only after the volunteers came that I really understood. Thanks to the volunteers, I have transformed my traditional hand-made seed processing unit into a modern enterprise with much greater reach on national level!”  — Maimouna Sidibé Coulibaly, owner, Faso Kaba seed company, Mali

As these examples (and many others!) show, capacity building is at the core of the F2F Program.

From November 16-December 11, F2F program partners are sharing their knowledge and experience providing technical assistance to farmers, farm groups, agribusinesses, service providers, and other agriculture sector institutions in developing and transitional countries. As aligned with Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, F2F works to support inclusive agriculture sector growth, facilitate private sector engagement in the agriculture sector, enhance development of local capacity and promote climate-smart development. Volunteer assignments address host-led priorities to expand economic growth that increases incomes and improves access to nutritious food. This blog series aims to capture and share this program experience.

Read more articles celebrating 30 years of F2F on