Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Signs of Farmer to Farmer Assistance in Guyana

This week, headquarters and local Guyana Farmer to Farmer staff are taking some time to visit project sites to monitor progress and talk to the farmers about the recommendations they've received by past volunteers. In just the first day, we already have seen and discussed a lot! Below are some pictures from just four visits. There are many more to come!

Several of these images feature our collaboration with the local shadehouse and hydroponics program implemented by the Guyana Chapter of Partners of the Americas. F2F volunteers have provided a great deal of technical assistance, most recently in cost of production, marketing, making organic pesticides, shadehouse design and irrigation systems, and creating hydroponics training videos.

Shadehouse operator "Valo" describes a hydroponic system new to Guyana which is being developed following the assistance of FTF Volunteer Michael Driver. Once completed, this system could reduce costs of production and increase profit margin for farmers, while maintaining the high quality of produce.

Mrs. Isaacs, shadehouse operator, and Guyana F2F Coordinator Kelvin Craig display new sign
Lettuce and pok choi from Mrs. Isaacs' shadehouse. She sells to caterers who love the quality of her produce. They say they would buy from her or no one else! Her shadehouse is screened on the sides, which has been recommended by IPM volunteers for reducing pest damage.
Solar fruit dryer constructed at the Guyana School of Agriculture with the assistance of F2F volunteer Ralph Bucca. Still in use today, making plantain chips, after several years. The small size of the dryer is ideal for students to manage as a project or micro-enterprise.
FTF Field Officer Sigmund McKenzie showing off his hydroponic seedling nursery, and a box of lettuce seedlings to soon be delivered to a shadehouse operator. Several recent volunteers have identified specialized seedling nurseries as a key limiting factor in the value chain, so the success and growth of these nurseries are a key component to the industry.
Organic pesticide at use in crop and seedling production, through the assistance of recent volunteer Samuel Schaefer-Joel. Following Samuel's recommendations, staff and growers are using the formulated spray and also experimenting with varied formulations to arrive at the mose effective solution. The spray is also well labeled, consistent with recommendations of past volunteers in pesticide safety.


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