Monday, November 15, 2010

Farmer to Farmer "flex" Volunteers Travel to Bolivia

The 2008 – 2013 Farmer to Farmer Program “core” projects are in Haiti, Guyana, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. However, the program can work in other countries as well with flexible assignments. The flexible (“flex”) assignments allow Farmer to Farmer to send US volunteers to support ongoing agricultural and environmental projects, explore new project areas, and take advantage of opportunities outside of the core countries. Volunteers on flex assignments provide technical assistance and trainings to support new or on-going projects.

In October, 2 volunteers from the University of Arkansas traveled to Bolivia on "flex" assignments: Dr. McLeod, a Professor in the Department of Entomology and Dr. Correll, a Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology. In coordination with the Arkansas - Eastern Bolivia Chapter of Partners of the Americas and CIAT (Center for Tropical Agricultural Investigation) the volunteers provided technical assistance to communities in the departments of Santa Cruz and Beni.   

In each community where the volunteers visited they carried out the following activities: 1. Examined vegetable fields and provided suggestions in vegetable production, especially, with insect and disease management. 2. Provided vegetable seed to people interested in starting a vegetable garden. 3. Explained to school children the value of including vegetables in their daily diet. 4. Encouraged gardening interest in school children by instituting contests to produce the biggest watermelon or squash. Additionally the volunteers visited the horticultural gardens of the Technical University of Beni and gave specific suggestions on vegetable insect and disease management. In Santa Cruz, training was provided to CIAT personnel in insect IPM, pesticide use and safety.

Partners is pleased to support agricultural projects, organizations and businesses throughout Latin America and the Caribbean!

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