Friday, November 21, 2014

Farmer-to-Farmer Experts Help Support the Next Generation of Agricultural Leaders

Feed the Future, the US government's global hunger and food security initiative, recently highlighted some of their work around the world focused on young people and universities. Some of the stories featured include highlighting the work of a Cochran Fellow on improving dairy production in East Africa; promoting agribusiness opportunities for youth in Armenia; and sharing the work of Peace Corps volunteers in Ethiopia who are inspiring youth to think creatively about how to address environmental challenges.

One important story focused on the Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Program. F2F leverages the expertise of volunteers from U.S. farms, land grant universities, cooperatives, private agribusiness firms and nonprofit farm organizations to respond to the local needs of host country farmers and organizations. The article - U.S. Farmers and Technical Experts Support the Next Generation of Agricultural Leaders - shared how part of this effort includes supporting youth and university students, building their capacity to advance agriculture and food security in their home countries.

Among the volunteers featured was Partners of the Americas' 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). The program partners with local universities to increase food security and mitigate migration from rural communities to urban centers working with small agricultural enterprises. Young entrepreneurs are matched with advisors who assist them in creating a business plan, implementing basic accounting and record-keeping, and developing other critical business skills. But advisors in the young entrepreneur program often lack technical knowledge to help improve the quantity and quality of agricultural production. That’s why Ms. Morse's expertise in value addition, improved nutrition, livestock management and agritourism were such an asset to the program.

You can read more about the assignment on the Feed the Future website and also elsewhere on the Partners F2F blog. If you would like to access the full Feed the Future newsletter, it can be found here.

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