Farmers Union, Cooperative Business sending farmers to Africa

2 07 2010
By Maria Miller, NFU Director of Education

Working with the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA), National Farmers Union is ready to send a new crop of leaders to Africa.

We are looking for volunteers. The Farmer-to-Farmer Program sends American farmers and agribusiness professionals to do 2-3 week agricultural development projects in Senegal and Niger. The Program is sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The Program pays all assignment-related expenses. Volunteers should not have to pay any of their own money in order to participate in Farmer-to-Farmer.   Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers work with farmers, producer groups, rural businesses and service providers to develop local capacity necessary to enhance food security, increase incomes and economic growth, and address environment and natural resource management challenges.

After Farmer-to-Farmer assignments, volunteers come back to work with the kind of in-depth, qualitative understanding of conditions in emerging markets that is impossible to achieve through desk-based research.

NCBA needs an expert in integrated pest management to work with moringa farmers groups in Niger on economical ways that they can reduce the negative effects of pests and diseases on their crop yield. The dates of this assignment are flexible, but we would like to complete it before the second week of August 2010.

NCBA is seeking irrigation experts for a volunteer opportunity working with farmers’ groups in Niger to build efficient and effective irrigation systems to water their moringa crop.

The farmers need systems that are inexpensive to construct and maintain while achieving high efficiency in Niger’s desert environment. The dates of this assignment are flexible, but we’d like to do it in October 2010.

NCBA is seeking experts in marketing of agricultural produce for volunteer opportunities working with moringa farmers’ groups in Niger on basic marketing plans. (Moringa is a versatile, drought tolerant tree with edible, nutritious leaves.) The volunteers will help the farmers’ groups assess the markets that are available to them and determine which markets offer the most profitable price for their produce. There are two marketing volunteer opportunities available, one is scheduled for January 2011 and February 2011.

NCBA is looking for experts in agricultural processing to help moringa farmers’ groups in Niger identify and assess the costs and benefits of their options for processing. Specific processing techniques to be developed will be based on market demand, as assessed in the marketing assignment. This assignment is scheduled for March 2011.

If you’re interested in pursuing a volunteer opportunity or if you’re interested in the program, but don’t see an assignment that fits your skills and experience, please e-mail mmiller@nfu.org.  NFU is currently assembling its first team of leader volunteers to go overseas.  What you take home may be worth more than what you bring.

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2 07 2010
Your Garden

Farmers Union, Cooperative Business sending farmers to Africa…

I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

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