This article is a contribution to a week-long blog carnival on USAID’s John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Program. From July 14-18, F2F program partners and American volunteers are sharing their knowledge and experience of providing technical assistance to farmers, farm groups, agribusinesses, service providers, and other agriculture sector institutions in developing and transitional countries. This blog carnival aims to capture and share this program experience. You can find all contributions on Agrilinks.
Winrock International works with people in the US and around the world to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources. Winrock’s work encompasses activities in three program areas representing 12 development initiatives. These create a dynamic complement of specialized programs, management services, implementation strategies, and technical assistance. These programs include:
Civil Society Strengthening
Forestry & Natural Resource Management
Youth Leadership & Education
The Wallace Center
The Environmental Resources Trust®
American Carbon Registry®
A registered US private voluntary organization, Winrock has managed Farmer-to-Farmer programs since 1991. These programs have increased sales by $52 million and indirectly impacted more than 8.2 million people worldwide. Our current Farmer-to-Farmer projects are in Asia and West Africa – Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), Guinea, Nepal, Nigeria, and Senegal. These programs focus on agriculture education and training (AET), youth entrepreneurship, and rural development.
Our historical roots:
Winrock International, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Little Rock, Ark., traces its roots to a charitable endeavor established by Winthrop A. Rockefeller at his ranch on Petit Jean Mountain, near Morrilton, Ark – the Winrock International Livestock Research and Training Center. In 1985, that institution merged with the Agricultural Development Council and the International Agricultural Development Service, both founded by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, to form Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development (Winrock International). Currently Winrock International has 900 employees working in 30 countries.
Our Farmer-to-Farmer approach:
Winrock applies a human and institutional capacity development (HICD) approach – concurrently building the human capacity among our hosts’ employees (with training, technology transfer, access to information and knowledge management, and professional mentoring and coaching) as well as institution strengthening (organizational development and strategic planning, resource mobilization, and partnership development). Winrock recognizes how essential women are to agriculture sector growth and food security, and help to promote gender equity and participation at both the individual and institutional levels.
Recent volunteers’ successes:
• As a result of volunteer assistance, Fishouse Aquaculture, Ltd. – a fish production enterprise that provides fish fingerlings, juveniles and feed to hundreds of Nigerian families, increased production of catfish fingerlings and juveniles by 95 percent. Before the training, Fishouse was producing 50,000 fingerlings monthly with a 60 percent mortality rate. Now, Fishouse produces 200,000 catfish fingerlings monthly with about a 5 percent mortality rate. In addition, the company now provides services to its customers resulting in $19,000 in additional income each month (a 400 percent increase).
• Poultry farmers in Nepal (the majority of whom are women) adopted improved biosecurity, feeding, and animal health practices introduced with volunteer assistance. In turn, they reduced mortalities, increased flock size, and improved egg laying capacity. Prior to F2F training, districts were importing poultry and eggs from India or other areas of Nepal; today, farmers are able to meet the local demand in their district. In addition to now having reliable access to protein, 124 poultry farmers increased income by nearly $90,000 and are using the funds to purchase food grains.
• After following volunteer recommendations, 91 beekeepers from three farmer groups in Guinea improved honey quality and doubled their number of hives. The members now also produce beeswax products (such as candles and hive foundation sheets). Furthermore, as a result of organizational strengthening support, each of the three groups has started to work more effectively; members now aggregate sales and established business contacts with two hotels. From honey sales alone, the groups earned nearly $18,000 in income (a 79% increase) within one year.
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. Read more articles on this topic on Agrilinks. Also, make sure to subscribe (http://bit.ly/AgrilinksF2F) to receive a daily digest in your inbox, for one week only!