In January, all of the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) implementers got together in Morocco for a lively four days of program planning, training, and discussions. It was a great way for new and old F2F staff to share lessons, insights, and goals as we all embark upon the current five-year phase of the program.
Reflecting on their time in Morocco and their goals for F2F over the next five years, Winrock’s Africa Country Directors shared the following thoughts:
“The F2F Implementers Workshop is one of the best things that has happened to me on this project and could not have come at a better time. The Workshop presented an excellent opportunity for me to share my experiences and also hear and draw lessons from the experiences of other participants.
I strongly wish and hope Winrock’s newly launched F2F Program with focus on agricultural education and training will transform the face of agricultural extension service delivery in Nigeria, bring more youths into agriculture, and reposition agriculture training institutions and organizations to produce and deliver agricultural programs, trainings and services, and students with market-oriented and demand-driven skills. I also earnestly long for a peaceful Nigeria to allow more Nigerian farmers benefit from these programs.
In Marrakech, Morocco, the opportunities to pick up lessons were varied and many. From the artisans of the Medina, the preservation of ancient cultures, the conversion and preservation of natural resources for the common good of all, the idea of having all buildings come in the same color, and the influx of westerners into Marrakech.” —Michael Bassey, F2F Nigeria
“The Morocco workshop gave me the opportunity to have more comprehension of the F2F program and its activities, objectives, indicators, and focus areas. I learned the history of F2F, lessons learned from previous phases, volunteer management tips, tools, and the team spirit and complementarity between all F2F programs worldwide.
My wish is to implement this program in Guinea with the greatest success. And to allow our host organizations to benefit greatly from the technical assistance of American volunteers, to improve Guinean agriculture productivity and profitability.” —Ibrahima Diallo, F2F Guinea
Mike and Ibro (and one more country director in Senegal, starting this spring) will lead Winrock’s F2F Program for Agriculture Education and Training (AET) in West Africa. We share their hopes for the program to bring great impacts for farmers, agribusinesses, and AET institutions in each country over the next five years.
From October 2013 – September 2018, Winrock expects to mobilize 300 volunteers to provide training and technical assistance to formal AET institutions (e.g., universities and training centers) as well as producer groups and service providers working directly with smallholder farmers. These efforts will equip a new generation of mid-level agriculture technicians to address evolving agricultural production and marketing challenges in West Africa.
As always, volunteer opportunities are posted at www.winrock.org/volunteer!