Below are some top stories and other highlights of 2014:
this article, F2F volunteers Les Crowder and Laura Ferguson talk about their January trip to Jamaica and share their impressions of the beekeeping sector. You and also read more about Partners beekeeping work in Jamaica here.
Partners Haiti Nutrition Security Program is using the Care Group model to deliver trainings, provide services, and communicate good health and nutrition behavior messages. Mothers engage in conversations about attitudes, behaviors, and practices around health and nutrition. Some topics include which foods are safe to eat during pregnancy, portion sizes, and the need for family support for pregnant and lactating women. In this video, mothers sing about the main food groups and the importance of happiness and harmony in the household: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmdAFRFjVe0. Find out more at: www.haitinutrition.org.
HaitiCoffee.com, which imports green coffee. What is most significant about Haiti Coffee is not only that is the result of cooperation between individuals and groups affiliated with Farmer-to-Farmer, but also that it is working to build a sustainable network to support viable, income-generating agricultural opportunities for Haitian farmers, and moving up the value chain to access a larger market. Buy some coffee today!
One of the highlights of F2F is often what volunteers are inspired to do after their assignment is completed. Ellen Lewis served as a volunteer in 2009, 2011, and 2013 and became interested in the role that gender plays in organizational development in Latin Americas. In March/April, she traveled to Nicaragua to conduct research on the role of women in the sustainability and impact of the F2F program and to train dairy cooperatives in organizational development. During her assignment, she introduced “feminist systems thinking” methodology and assisted cooperative members to identify methods to mitigate the barriers women face in gaining leadership roles. Ellen is now using this research to complete her PhD dissertation at Hull University in the UK.
In May, the USAID/Dominican Republic Mission officially approved Partners’ F2F strategy focused on protecting the Yaque del Norte watershed through effective soil, water, and natural resource management. The Yaque del Norte region is vital to the country’s production of bananas and other crops. However, unpredictable weather patterns and more frequent droughts, floods, and extreme weather have raised concern over the reduced quantity and quality of available water. Paul Wojtkowski was the first F2F volunteer to travel under this new strategy and he conducted workshops and presentations for 145 banana producers and strategic partners to increase their understanding of the factors that influence climate change, the impact climate change has on agriculture and forestry in the DR, and what farmers can do to best adapt to climate change at the farm, household, and community level.
Returned Peace Corps Volunteers make great F2F volunteers too, as we have learned over the years. So in June, Partners’ Senior Program Officer Courtney Dunham traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to promote Partners’ work in agriculture and food security at the 2014 Peace Corps Connect National Conference. Through outreach at conferences such as Peace Corps Connect, EcoFarm, and the World Food Prize, the F2F is able to recruit new volunteers and raise awareness of USAID international development efforts in the hemisphere.
Farmer-to-Farmer Supports the First Artificial Goat Insemination in Guatemala. In July, Partners’ Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer Bill Knox made history by visiting the western highlands of Guatemala to provide the first-ever training on artificial goat insemination. Bill trained almost 100 producers, technicians, and veterinary students in two methods for artificial goat insemination. Bill’s training will help improve goat production in the country, which will thereby help improve families’ nutrition and food security through greater access to goat milk.
AugustPartners' AFS team created a new Twitter handle: @PartnersAgFood. Follow us to find out the latest news about our programs but also about top issues in agriculture, food security, nutrition, and climate change. You can also follow this blog (farmertofarmer.blogspot.com) and the Haiti Nutrition blog (haitinutrition.org) for news and information.
F2F volunteer Katherine Wingert worked with the Nicaraguan Dairy Sector Chamber (CANISLAC) in planning a campaign to increase the consumption of dairy products. While Nicaragua produces more dairy than any other country in Central America, local dairy consumption levels are very low. The new campaign will focus on yogurt and milk consumption among adolescents and mothers of young children in Managua. During her assignment, Ms. Wingert assisted 435 people (58% women) and was also interviewed on Nicaragua television as part of their coverage of World Food Day. (video in Spanish)
Feed the Future, the US government's global hunger and food security initiative, highlighted some of their work around the world focused on young people and universities. One important story focused on Farmer-to-Farmer and among the volunteers featured was Partners' volunteer Maggie Morse. Ms. Morse traveled to Boyacá, Colombia, in part to to support a young entrepreneur program run by the Government of Colombia’s National Learning Service (SENA). Read more about how the US government is supporting the next generation of agricultural leaders.
DecemberAddressing Climate Change in Partners' Farmer-to-Farmer Program. As the Conference on Climate Change in Lima comes to an end, Secretary John Kerry urged the world to think about the economic impacts of climate change on agriculture. Partners Farmer-to-Farmer program is taking strides to take this to heart in the Dominican Republic.
The Agriculture and Food Security Team is looking forward to 2015 and what we can continue to accomplish throughout the hemisphere!