Agrilinks Blog Carnival: What We've Accomplished and Where We're Going
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.
What can be accomplished by one volunteer on a 2 to 3-week trip overseas? A lot! Especially when their efforts are combined to deliver targeted, problem-focused support to dedicated, entrepreneurial hosts.
In the last 5-year program alone (2009–2013), Farmer-to-Farmer accomplishments include:
- 2,984 volunteer assignments completed
- 1,651 host organizations assisted
- 199,927 individuals assisted directly, reaching 46.8 million individuals indirectly
- 450,546 hectares under improved production technologies
- 1.1 million hectares under improved environmental and natural resource management
- 1,818 new and improved products and services offered by assisted hosts
- US$443 million increase in gross sales for assisted hosts
- US$133 million increase in net annual income for assisted hosts
- US$36 million in resources mobilized by assisted hosts, through loans, grants, and other support accessed as a result of Farmer-to-Farmer assistance
- US$35 million in volunteer time and resources, as well as host contributions
Over the next 5 years (2014–2018), the nine newly launched Farmer-to-Farmer programs expect to:
- Complete 3,500 volunteer assignments
- Assist 2,400 host organizations
- Provide hands-on training to 78,600 individuals
As we heard yesterday, the numbers alone don’t tell the whole story. Farmer-to-Farmer’s unique, people-to-people approach, connecting one hands-on practitioner to another across the globe, builds trust and understanding, and forges relationships that last long after each assignment ends. Farmer-to-Farmer assignments matter because they boost food security, help agricultural enterprises to grow, expand access to finance, improve natural resource management, provide training and enhance organizational capacity. Farmer-to-Farmer assignments matter because they build connections, develop friendships, enrich intercultural understanding and launch on-going cooperation.
Farmer-to-Farmer’s two goals are to generate rapid, sustained and broad-based economic growth in the agricultural sector, and to increase the American public's understanding of international developments and programs, as well as international understanding of the United States and U.S. development programs. Our assignments matter because they do just that.
Created with flickr slideshow.
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!