Agrilinks Blog Carnival: Farmer-to-Farmer Going Strong After 30 Years
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 shared 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. You can find all contributions on Agrilinks.
The Farmer-to-Farmer Program (F2F) was first authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1985 to provide for the transfer of knowledge and expertise of U.S. agricultural producers and businesses on a voluntary basis to developing and middle-income countries and emerging democracies. The 2008 Farm Bill designated the F2F program as the "John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter F2F Program" in honor of one of the pilots killed September 11, 2001 and of former Congressman Bereuter, who initially sponsored the program. The program is funded through Title V of Public Law 480, through the Office of Food for Peace.
Nearly 30 years later, F2F continues to provide short-term, voluntary technical assistance to farmers, farm groups, and agribusinesses in developing countries to promote sustainable economic growth and capacity building. The program currently sends volunteers to more than 26 countries, concentrated in 7 regions of the world: West Africa; Southern Africa; East Africa; the Middle East and North Africa; Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia; Asia; and the Caribbean.
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. F2F country projects focus on different levels of food security challenges, addressing topics as diverse as agricultural education and training, horticulture, staple crops, resilience to climate change, and food safety/quality. In addition to regional programs, F2F also provides support through smaller, more focused small grants and program development projects.
While other programs deliver aid from the American people, F2F is unique in that it delivers the American people themselves. Volunteers typically spend between 14 and 21 days in their host country, working closely with local farmers and agribusiness professionals on problems and priorities identified by their hosts. A volunteer can accomplish a great deal in 2-3 weeks on assignment, while developing friendships that last long after the assignment has ended. This people-to-people aspect of the program is one of its major assets, and ensures F2F’s long-term impacts.
Tomorrow, we’ll learn more about the volunteer experience and ongoing impacts—and hear directly from volunteers and participants—as we explore a day in the life of an F2F volunteer.
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 to receive a daily digest in your inbox, for one week only!