Friday, August 8, 2014

Partners’ Guatemala Farmer-to-Farmer Program Seeks Volunteers!

Last month, Partners of the Americas officially inaugurated its Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) office in Guatemala. Partners' F2F field staff are comprised of Country Director José Eduardo Cano, Field Officers Andrea Lucrecia Fión and José Abraham Jarquin, and Administrative Assistant Andrea Herrera. Partners' F2F program will focus on two key strategies: 1) strengthening horticulture value chains and 2) improving the productivity and competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises in Guatemala.

From left: Andrea Herrera, Andrea Fión,
Abraham Jarquin, and José Cano
The F2F staff maintain regular communication with the USAID/Guatemala Mission to ensure that the F2F program complements Guatemala's Feed the Future strategy and, in particular, the Western Highlands Integrated Program (WHIP). WHIP aims to reduce poverty and chronic malnutrition by focusing on the areas with the highest concentration of need and taking a collaborative approach with municipalities, community organizations, the private sector, and other programs such as Farmer-to-Farmer.

The first F2F volunteer in Guatemala arrived in the beginning of July and had a great visit (stay tuned for a future blog post about his trip!). And the field staff have several other open assignments (see below). The Guatemala field staff state, "We are enthusiastic to start working and have already started developing assignments, no doubt the commitment and dedication from the entire team will make the program a success in Guatemala."

Partners' Senior Program Officer Courtney Dunham, tours
CEPROCAL prior to the arrival of the first F2F volunteer
to Guatemala.

Open Volunteer Assignments in Guatemala:


Artisanal Goat Cheese Manufacturing and Marketing Expert (2-4 weeks in October):
A specialist in goat milk handling practices, quality assurance, and small-scale cheese manufacturing is needed to train extension staff at the Center for Goat Production in the Altiplano of Guatemala (CEPROCAL). The volunteer will train extension staff in proper goat milk product management to help ensure the production of high quality cheese. The volunteer will also assist with the development of a marketing plan to help expand market opportunities for CEPROCAL’s goat milk and cheese products. Spanish proficiency is desired, but not necessary.

Specialty Mushroom Production Expert (2-4 weeks in October or November):
A volunteer with experience in cultivating organic specialty mushrooms (i.e., shiitake, king oyster, enoki, nameko, and poplar) is needed to train mushroom producers in mushroom production on logs, mushroom pest and disease management, and post-harvest handling. Expected deliverables include the development of protocols for growing shiitake mushrooms on logs, guidelines on care and handling of mushrooms during production, methods to improve mushroom pest and disease management, and a Farmer-to-Farmer trip report and recommendations.

Food Safety Expert (2-4 weeks in November or December):
A specialist in food safety with experience in vegetable handling and packaging (particularly of peas, green beans, and bell peppers) is needed to train small-scale farmers in the central highlands on safe handling and packaging of vegetables for export. Expected deliverables are to develop a guide on procedures to ensure the proper packaging of vegetables and a Farmer-to-Farmer trip report with recommendations on  how farmers can remain in compliance with local and international protocols for vegetable packaging.

To find out more about how to volunteer or to view other volunteer assignments, please visit the Partners website at: http://www.partners.net/partners/Volunteering.asp.

To learn more about the work of USAID's Feed the Future Strategy, please visit: http://www.feedthefuture.gov/country/guatemala.


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